Pretoria: The South African National Road Agency Limited (Sanral) on Sunday announced that more than 1.2 million Gauteng road users have registered and have e-tags.
“We would like to thank all Gauteng motorists who have responded positively to our call to register their vehicles for e-tolling,” Sanral head of communications Vusi Mona said.
He urged other motorists to follow suit in order to enjoy the discounts associated with having an e-tag.
Mona said the agency was also thankful to those motorists who, even though they are not tagged, are nonetheless paying for their use of the e-roads and hoped that they will see the benefits – such as the 48 percent discount – of getting e-tagged.
“We believe that in spite of the billing challenges emanating from largely unregistered users and the customer service issues at some of our service outlets and call centre, the system is working and motorists are cooperating with us as evidenced in the 30 000 to 45 000 registrations we are seeing per week,” Mona said.
Mona also reiterated that the agency – together with its service provider, Electronic Toll Company – are responding to the teething challenges and putting in place measures to mitigate them.
Mona said OUTA’s claim that its own research indicated that motorists were not taking up e-tags was not based on sampling but on counting actual registered users.
“Also, ours are subject to being audited by the Auditor General. We don’t know who audits OUTA’s.”
Mona said the monies collected from e-tolling will go towards road maintenance and servicing the debt incurred while Sanral built the road infrastructure on Gauteng’s freeways.
The system also has on-road services, which include the Sanral branded cars on the highways to ensure that if there is an incident or any form of disturbance on the road, they respond quickly.
“This quick response time ensures that there are no longer prolonged traffic jams on the e-roads as a result of an incident. The services also include quick medical response in the event of an accident on the e-roads,” Mona said.
According to Sanral, motorists who have been using the Gauteng e-roads have, among other things, been enjoying less congested roads, resulting in time saving.
Prior to the construction of the new road infrastructure in Gauteng, the Automobile Association had conducted an independent study, which showed that motorists were spending about 40 hours a month sitting in traffic.