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‘E-tolls are more than gantries on the highway’

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa defended the changes made to the system under his watch.

FILE: Ramaphosa says all parties should play a greater role in decisions on how to reconfigure the transport system. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says the e-tolling system is about much more than the gantries on the highway and points to a fundamental lack of cheap and accessible public transport for the country's poorest people.

Ramaphosa today defended the changes made to the system under his watch saying a fuel levy would have hurt the poorest people across the country.

He spoke at the South African Communist Party (SACP) special national congress in Soweto and was told to scrap the system by Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) President Sdumo Dlamini.

Ramaphosa says all parties should play a greater role in decisions on how to reconfigure the transport system.

"The issue of transport needs to be reconfigured in South Africa so that we can provide cheap transport for all our people. And we are very pleased that Cosatu's approach goes beyond e-tolls; it begins to touch on the issue of transport."

E-TOLLS AREN'T ADDING UP

Meanwhile, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) on Tuesday said it was investigating after it emerged that some compliant motorists and companies were paying more for e-tolls during off-peak times under the new dispensation of laws.

Eyewitness News established that the new revised e-tolls tariffs resulted in law abiding motorists and companies paying more per month rather than less.

The first wave of the new dispensation of e-toll tariffs in Gauteng came into effect last week.

New laws were announced in May after years of legal challenges, protests and a provincial review involving public consultation.

Sanral said it was aware of the unintended repercussions that the revised standard tariff had on the time of day discount and it is investigating the matter.

It said it would inform the public of the outcome of its investigation in due course.

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa)'s Wayne Duvenage said the anti-tolling organisation had received numerous complaints from the public.

"There are a lot of businesses who are planning their trips after hours or out of the peak periods because they were enduring a far lower rate. And is a significant rate to what they're enduring now."

Most of those affected are companies who transport goods in off peak times.

It's estimated these tagged users could be paying as much as 67 percent more during off peak times than under the old dispensation.

_ Click here_ to read an explanation of why the numbers (and government's maths) don't add up.

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