NATIONAL NEWS - The launch of the e-tolling system on April 30 must be delayed until all public concerns about it have been addressed, Business Unity SA (Busa) said on Tuesday.
"It is disappointing that Sanral, which plans to launch the e-tolling system on 30 April, has not fully addressed the public's concerns. This should have been done several months ago," the organisation said in a statement.
"Unless these serious practical problems can be timeously resolved, Busa sincerely believes that the magnitude of challenges facing the e-toll system in Gauteng justify delaying its implementation... to a later date."
Busa said the new punitive tariff for motorists who did not register for e-tolling would "have far-reaching and significant implications for the cost of conducting business within Gauteng and throughout the country".
The SA National Roads Agency Ltd gazetted the tariffs on Friday. It described an "alternate user" as someone "who does not have a valid and operational e-tag, is not registered with Sanral, and who is not a day-pass user".
Alternate users would be charged R1.75/km, compared to the standard tariff of 30c/km for registered users.
"While Busa understands the logistical challenges faced by Sanral in ensuring the payment of e-toll fees, the regulations... are extreme and place onerous and extensive burdens on business," it said.
"It is also of concern that there seems to be a lack of alignment between this piece of legislation and other legislation already in existence."
Busa said it submitted comment to the department of transport on Monday concerning the new tariffs.
"Bearing in mind that Gauteng represents about one third of South Africa's gross domestic product, Busa believes there are wider national implications [to the tariffs]."
On Monday, National Consumer Commissioner Mamodupi Mohlala said she would look into a complaint by the Democratic Alliance over the punitive rate.