This site has been created to provide you with all of the Real Facts. You’ll find a wealth of information and all the answers to your questions about e-tolls, because we believe in the future growth of South Africa. We welcome your comments, your questions and your suggestions. (Click here to comment or to ask a question on Twitter.)
There are over 200kms of lanes planned for our Gauteng Freeways with upgrades to more than 400kms of existing road and 158kms of new road. To date, only 201km of freeway has been upgraded, known as Phase 1. The project has been halted and no further development has taken place.
Let’s start with “Why do e-tolls even exist in Gauteng?”
Our objective was always, and remains, to develop a financially sustainable phased upgrade and expansion programme for the main Gauteng freeway network known as the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) which is committed to, and centered on, progress and possibility.
Inspired by clear evidence that traffic congestion had reached critical levels, in 2006 the GFIP took action and received approval to upgrade 201km of existing freeway, known as Phase 1. This was completed between 2008-2012. Without these improvements, Gauteng traffic today, would have literally come to a standstill, a fact little known to the public. There is still the proposed plan for approximately an additional 150km of vital new freeway and the upgrade of 400kms of road, which will save millions of travel-hours for residents and result in increased productivity and development opportunities.
Given the competing demands on the treasury in a country with a reputation for being the most unequal nation on earth, alternative sources of funding were essential. The globally recognised user-pays principle was implemented to reduce the dependence on government and tax-based revenue for specific road infrastructure and usage.
What is GFIP? - the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project
GFIP Phase 2
Why was GFIP designed?
What is the benefit of GFIP?
But, why must I pay? What is the “user-pays principle” and what does it really mean for me?
The user-pays principle is the most equitable way to address funding issues for the level of road infrastructure required for development in Gauteng. Adopted as a method of funding large infrastructure projects worldwide; it’s fair, efficient, targeted and considered best practice globally. It means exactly what it says, only the user pays. We are all familiar with the concept through our use of other public resources, we pay for municipal water and electricity and are happy to purchase airplane tickets. Basically, those who do not require the service should not be forced to pay for it. Tolls collected are used only for the toll roads.
I feel confused and angry about this, why and how did this project start?
The increase in traffic congestion across Gauteng was causing ever-extending peak periods, resulting in negative effects on our quality of life, our environment and on the province’s economic growth potential.
Contrary to the popular myth this had nothing to do with the 2010 world cup. Data on road use and sophisticated computer models can predict the flow of traffic for years in advance. This is how we know that if the GFIP doesn’t move forwards, then by 2037 the average speed on the Gauteng Freeway will be 10km per hour. Yes, it will take us longer to get from Sandton to Pretoria than to get to the Durban Beachfront.
It was thus proposed that the solution be a financially self-sustainable freeway development and it was called the GFIP. This would include the creation and implementation of approximately 150km of new freeway, over 200kms of new lanes with upgrades to more than 400kms of existing road. To date, only 201km of freeway has been upgraded.
The implementation of the project followed years of planning and approval processes which included the following:
- 2006: Intergovernmental Committee under the DOT (Department of Transport) Chairmanship prepared a report regarding the GFIP and the preferred funding model (tolling). This was presented to participating and affected local, metropolitan and provincial authorities
- 2007: The Cabinet approved the GFIP and proposed funding model in May and an announcement by the Minister of Transport was made in October.
- 2007-2008: The toll declaration process in terms of legislative requirements was determined
- Numerous direct engagements with the press and interested parties and groups then took place.
The first phase of the GFIP, comprising the upgrading of 201km of existing freeway, was implemented between 2008 and 2012, and had these results, to name but a few:
- Millions of travel-hours were saved, improving the productivity and living conditions for all in Gauteng
- Improved incident and medical attention management
- Development opportunities in key areas such as Waterfall City (Mall of Africa), Lynnwood Bridge, and the Menlyn node.
The Way Forward
To date, The South African National Roads Agency SOC (SANRAL) has been the main communication interface between e-tolls and the public.
We as ETC are an independent company, taking on the role of an honest broker, committed to providing you with the real facts. Our intention is to clarify and resolve all current inaccuracies and misleading information which has led to the misdirection of the public. We are committed to ensuring that there is absolute transparency with regards all e-toll operations, accounts and collections.
We believe in the following 5 key areas and are currently creating models for all with the full support of our government:
- Ensuring the continuous affordability of e-tolls
- Providing added value and ongoing services for registered e-toll users
- Local ownership of all e-toll operations
- Political support and clarity for Gauteng road users
- Addressing and resolving road-user debt.
We, as ETC, welcome all suggestions and ideas from the public and all stakeholders. Have a question? click here now.
Questions around the Tender Process
We are aware of the constant theme of corruption in our country’s news. Thus, it’s most likely difficult to believe the good news here, that this tender was completely above board. We are committed to total transparency and our doors are open to discuss any aspects of the tender process you may require clarity on. Click here to join the conversation.
In an open tender process in 2012, we were appointed by SANRAL as we had the lowest price. There have been no recorded irregularities.
As ETC, we have a zero-tolerance policy with regards to corruption and transparency is paramount to our operations. We ensure that we hold all of our partners and employees equally accountable.
Again, open conversation is considered an imperative for us. Should you require any information with regards our operations, please do not hesitate to send us your request on our contact page.
GFIP’s commitment to the development of new roads is an integral part of Gauteng’s future. They are a vital part of our progress to ensure economic growth. ETC has the real facts that prove that without the GFIP implementation, the creation of new roads, that Gauteng risks becoming an enormous parking lot with traffic running […]