Sanral makes its final case for e-tolling

Sanral says if the system wasn’t implemented, the province wouldn’t be able to afford to upgrade the highways.

FILE: The controversial e-tolling system was launched on 3 December. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) chief executive Nazir Alli says he's confident the roads agency has presented a solid case to the e-tolls assessment panel.

The agency today made more submissions to the panel in Pretoria following a previous session earlier this month.

The panel was established by Gauteng Premier David Makhura to assess the economic and social impact of e-tolls on motorists in the province.

Today, Sanral had its last opportunity to convince the e-tolls assessment panel that the system is the only solution despite widespread public outcry.

Transport economist Roelof Botha who's been making submissions on behalf of the roads agency says some people are opposing e-tolling for political reasons.

Earlier, Sanral told the panel that if the user pay system was not implemented, the province would never have been able to afford to upgrade the highways.

Botha said those who don't pay e-tolling bills must "shut up"

He said all South Africans benefit from the system although they don't all pay for using the new roads.

"If a policy has a positive impact then why are you opposing it?"

The economist said the e-tolling system is the only way to pay back the costs for the new roads and to maintain the current infrastructure.

Earlier, Botha faced some tough questions by the panel for raining his voice when he said those who are not paying e-tolls or make use of public transport cannot complain about the system in the media.

The panel now has to analyze all the information it has received and submit its final report to Makhura by the end of the month.

The controversial e-tolling system went live on 3 December after months of legal wranglings, protests and calls for civil disobedience.