The Road Funding Report

This Road Funding Report examines road funding models globally, compares the different road funding methods of various countries, and discusses the best practices for road funding.

This Road Funding Report examines road funding models globally, compares the different road funding methods of various countries, and discusses the best practices for road funding. South Africa implemented e-tolls as a method of road funding for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) in 2013. These e-tolls have experienced a substantial amount of public resistance, with the highest compliance rate of 40% reported in 2014. The South African Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) has attempted to increase compliance rates. Indications are that these attempts have failed.
The public resistance to e-tolls in Gauteng, is explored by the administration of a public opinion survey. The survey results indicate that the respondents have a negative attitude towards SANRAL, perceiving it and the e-toll system as corrupt. Respondents feel that they are not getting value for money when paying e-tolls. Legal measures are unlikely to increase compliance rates. It is unlikely that SANRAL will be able to convince more people to comply. SANRAL may have also reduced compliance rates by temporarily suspending historic debt collection, as it is perceived as an unfair decision towards those who have been paying e-tolls.
We recommend that SANRAL suspend e-tolling effective immediately, while reconsidering potential road funding options. Regardless of which road funding method is chosen to go forward, it is of paramount importance that SANRAL proceed with sufficient public consultation and input, as well as using complete transparency in their planning and budgeting. SANRAL should also make an attempt to change public perceptions of them before approaching the public.
Further steps recommended to be taken going forward, including the reimbursement of those who have paid to date, are included in the conclusion of this report.