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Some Gauteng e-toll relief, but system here to stay

Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a new model for e-tolls in Gauteng.

FILE: The e-toll gantries were switched on in December 2013.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng motorists have been told that e-tolls will now cost substantially less but are here to stay.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa ended months of speculation on Wednesday, announcing a new model for e-tolls which will see most costs for consumers halved, making it more affordable for all.

Ramaphosa says there is good news for those using cars.

"A single reduced tariff will apply to all motorists and the current standard tariff of 50 cents for light motor vehicles will be reduced to 30 cents per kilometre."

The monthly cap has also been reduced from R450 to R225 a month.

The deputy president says e-tags are also not essential.

"The single tariff will apply to all motorists within a vehicle class whether they have an e-tag or not."

But motorists will have to pay up if they haven't yet done so.

"Motorists will have to settle any outstanding fees before vehicle licenses are issued."

However, motorists will be given a 60 percent discount and six months to pay their outstanding fees.

Users will also benefit from 30 free gantry passes a year.

But the new dispensation will present an annual estimated shortfall of R390 million in revenue for the South African National Roads Agency Limited.

This shortfall will be shared between national government and the Gauteng province.

Since the gantries were switched on in December 2013, many Gauteng motorists have refused to pay their e-tolls.

E-toll revenue has been in decline since last year and e-tag registrations have plummeted.

Public transport, including buses and taxis which have permits, will remain exempted.

Ramaphosa says the new dispensation will be implemented in phases, with a revised cap to be implemented in the next two to three months.

_To read the full statement by Ramaphosa on the dispensation model for e-tolls, _ click here.