Tue. May 28th, 2024

Gauteng province, home to South Africa’s major cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria, has officially scrapped tolls on freeways, ending more than a decade of public defiance.

The e-tolls were permanently disconnected at 23:59 local time on Thursday. Motorists will no longer be charged to use freeways in the province.

Gauteng introduced e-tolls in December 2013, charging users of highways linking Johannesburg and Pretoria as a way to generate funds for developing and maintaining road infrastructure.

The tolls were however met with criticism and defiance, and many motorists often refused to pay the charges.

“In its current form, the e-toll system was unaffordable,” Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi said in an earlier statement, explaining the reason for scrapping the tolls.

He added that removing the charges would bring “much needed relief to the people of Gauteng who have had to bear the brunt of paying e-tolls”.

Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga said that motorists with outstanding fees are expected to clear it, but the ministry does not yet have a mechanism for enforcing the payments.

But some civil society groups that championed the abolition of the tolls have urged motorists with outstanding debt not to pay.

By Joy

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