From 1 March 2021, you will pay R272 in toll fees to drive between Johannesburg and Durban, while a trip to or from Cape Town will cost R197.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has approved toll tariff increases as recommended by the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL), the agency has announced. The adjustments were gazetted on 11 February 2021 and will kick in on 1 March 2021. Discounts still apply at specific toll plazas for frequent users and qualifying local users.
The department of transport said that SANRAL, it uses selective tolling to implement major road infrastructure projects. It said that 13% of South Africa’s 22,253km road network is made up of toll roads.
“Toll roads allow for the borrowing of capital to develop road infrastructure when it is required, rather than having to wait until funds are available from an already strained fiscus,” the department stated. Toll monies are applied to maintain, operate and improve toll roads, as well as to service debt incurred to implement a toll road project.
It said that the cost in the event of delayed maintenance on roads can be up to 18 times higher than it would have been if routine preventative maintenance was undertaken. Tolls are a way to ensure that only those who make use of the road pay for its upkeep.
According to SANRAL, its tariffs are adjusted annually in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as obtained from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). It said that the inflation percentage that was applied to determine the 1 March 2021 tariff adjustment is 5%.
“We use the inflation rate as a guide so that the toll tariffs remain the same in real terms,” stated Vusi Mona, SANRAL’s general manager for communications. This means there is effectively no increase to the rate from when the initial toll tariff that was implemented,” he said.
SANRAL’s choice of 5% as the inflation rate to base its price increases on is curious, as the CPI from Stats SA shows that the official average inflation rate for South Africa for 2020 was 3.3%. In 2019 it was 4.1%.
MyBroadband asked SANRAL for comment regarding its choice of an inflation rate benchmark of 5%, but the agency did not respond by the time of publication. However, an examination of the toll fees between South Africa’s major cities — Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban — shows that these toll fee increases were below inflation.
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