Review of real economic developments across South Africa & Africa

17 February 2012

Creamer Media's Engineering News | February 17, 2012

Excerpt:

TOLLING ONLY VIABLE OPTION, SAYS TRANSPORT SOCIETY – The current uncertainty around whether tolling will be implemented on Gauteng’s highways has repercussions beyond the province’s borders, says Intelligent Transport Society of South Africa (ITS South Africa) CEO Dr Paul Vorster. It is also creating trepidation over the funding model for all future road projects in South Africa. “Already the N1/N2 Winelands project is on hold. We need clarity over the funding model as soon as possible. South Africa cannot start any new road project until it becomes clear how these projects will be funded. And, the longer we wait, the more expensive it becomes to build new roads. Our roads are also deteriorating, with congestion and time lost owing to this increasing,” notes Vorster. The Gauteng toll road project has been bogged down in a political quagmire with no resolution in sight, this while the country has to start making payments on the multibillion-rand debt incurred to fund this would-be toll project. Public opposition to urban tolling in the province has been so severe that the start of tolling has been delayed several times on the back of calls for more widespread consultation. As far as ITS South Africa is concerned, the society supports the user-pays principle, says Vorster. “What other realistic options do South Africa have to fund roads?” Vorster says it is not feasible to do incremental repair work to roads in accordance with the funding available in one year. This is even more true for new road sections. [ADD PIC OF GFIP]

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