The South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) hasn’t given up on trying to sway public opinion on etolls. According to SANRAL, Gauteng motorists are not seeing the bigger picture and the “many benefits” they get through etolls, but are instead choosing to focus on the negative.
In a press release titled “Benefits of e-tolling can’t be ignored” SANRAL says there are many advantages to e-tolling which are being ignored in the current debate about the user pay system and they have “research to back it up”.
“As SANRAL, we have research which shows that the Gauteng highway network is beneficial for motorists. There are cost savings, technological and fiscal benefits, which led us to believe that tolling remains the best and most sustainable way to pay for the upgrading and maintenance of this national road,” said SANRAL spokesman Vusi Mona, referring to research by the Automobile Association (AA) and the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Back in November 2013, minister of transport Dipuo Peters said paying etolls was like paying to use a toilet and that “responsible citizens will pay for the open and smooth roads”. Yesterday, Peters again made it clear that etolls aren’t going anywhere because government wouldn’t be doing away with the system.
SANRAL goes on to again highlight benefits it has previously mentioned including: “increased road safety thanks to SANRAL Intelligent Transport System (ITS), a decrease in congestion and travel times on the road, which have resulted in the added benefit of cost saving for companies and individuals who are now able to spend more time at work as opposed to on the road.”
Yes, because of etolls, you are now able to spend more time at work and not only that, your car gets to stay in shape for longer.
“If you do calculations in terms of the loss of production, the wear and tear to your car, vehicle operation costs which increase, the pollution we were creating… once you take that into account, the benefits far outweigh the tariffs,” SANRAL CEO Nazir Alli said.
“These benefits would not exist if not for e-tolling, and while we understand that it has become a sensitive issue, we would call for level heads when weighing up the pros and cons of the system,” Mona added.
Convincing enough for you? You can read the full release on the Mail & Guardian press office.[Source – Sanral, Image – Shutterstock]