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Article by: Natasha Odendaal
Published: 05 Mar 2012
|Sanral finalising Gauteng toll arrangement for emergency vehicles|
The South African National Roads Agency Limited is currently finalising a new approach on how emergency vehicles using the toll roads in Gauteng will be dealt with, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said.
Responding to a Parliamentary question on whether emergency vehicles would be exempt from paying the toll fees on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP), he said the route followed depended on whether the vehicle was privately owned or owned by the local government.
He explained that the user of a privately owned emergency vehicle could, through a specific process requiring approval by the specific government entity, be credited for transactions that were made for official purposes. However, the vehicle must be fitted with an e-tag to manage this process and prevent fraud from taking place. If the vehicle was registered to the local authority, they could apply the same procedure used for current toll authority cards to allow for exemption.
Historically, emergency vehicles delivering a service on tolled freeways applied for toll authority cards. However, Ndebele said that owing to previous misuse by some cardholders, a different approach for the GFIP was required.
Local government service delivery vehicles would not be exempt from paying tolls, he added.
Currently, the South African Police Services, the South African National Defence Force and certain qualifying public transport operators were exempt from paying tolls.
Tolling on the upgraded Gauteng highways would start on April 30.
The fee structure has been revised with light vehicles fitted with e-tags to pay 30c/km, down from the 40c/km initially announced. Motorcycles will pay 20c/km, nonarticulated trucks 75c/km and articulated trucks R1.51/km.
A frequent user cap of R550 a month has been set on light vehicles and motorcycles, while a time of day saving of 20% for heavy vehicles will be introduced.