'E-tolls is a failed project which society rejects'

Exactly a year after going live, the multibillion rand project has been described as a failure.

An e-toll sign on the N1 in Johannesburg. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Exactly a year after going live, the multibillion rand e-toll system has been described as a failed project.

As Gauteng Premier David Makhura considers a report into the socio-economic impact of the tolls, critics say they hope sanity will prevail in the new year.

Government has defended the controversial system, denying it's a total failure, but admitting that lessons have been learned.

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa)'s Wayne Duvenage says the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has fallen desperately short of its own target because e-tolling has been rejected by society.

"It doesn't help to have a party and the lights are burning and there's no one there. When I say no one, I mean very few. It's failed as a funding mechanism."

The past year has seen billing bungles, protests, a freeze on all e-toll related prosecutions, lower than expected e-tag sales and a provincial government review of the project's impact.

But the Department of Transport says with 1.2 million e-tags issued, the project will continue as part of a bigger drive to fund road infrastructure.