South African motorists’ pockets will be even under more strain after the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) at the weekend notified the public of the adjustment to the toll tariffs effective from March 1, 2024.
“The tariffs are adjusted annually in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as obtained from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). The annual toll tariffs will increase by 6.25%, as published in the Government Gazette of 6 February 2024. This rate is less than last year’s 6.58% adjustment,” it said.
Recognising the prevailing economic conditions in the country, Vusi Mona, Sanral’s general manager for Communications and Marketing, explained that toll revenue was necessary to maintain, operate and improve toll roads, as well as to service debt incurred to implement a toll road project.
“The funds go a long way towards ensuring that Sanral fulfils its mandate of delivering quality road infrastructure that adds value to the lives of South African citizens,” said Mona.
He also said that key economic infrastructure, such as the national road network, was a precondition for providing basic services such as electricity, water, sanitation, telecommunications and public transport, and therefore needs to be robust and extensive enough to meet industrial, commercial and household needs.
“Sanral is empathetic to the South African public, considering the current state of the economy. However, it is equally important to introduce the adjustments to ensure that the agency continues to deliver safe and quality roads to the benefit of all road users,” said Mona.
Sanral has previously warned that the high volumes of trucks on the roads is damaging the road infrastructure as state parastatal Transnet’s rail system is unable to meet South Africa’s logistic needs due to numerous woes.
Sanral currently manages a network of 22 262 km of roads throughout South Africa.
Despite Sanral moderating the tariff increase, the hike will deal a blow to South African motorists after a sharp spike in petrol prices earlier this month.
This follows the announcement by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy of the official fuel price adjustments for February 2024, showing a jump in the price of both 93 and 95 Unleaded petrol as well as diesel prices, as of Wednesday, February 7.
Petrol prices will be going up by 75 cents per litre, which means consumers will be paying R22.92 per litre for 93 Unleaded petrol, up from R22.17 in January, and R23.24 for 95 Unleaded, up from R22.49 in January.
This means that petrol is inching back to R25.00 per litre, figures last seen in October 2023 when prices peaked at R25.86 per litre, reaching a high not seen since July 2022 when petrol prices reached an all-time peak of R26.74 per litre.
Neil Roets, the CEO of Debt Rescue, said, “With no end in sight to the volley of living cost increases aimed at them, and with consumers already cutting back as much as they can, the latest petrol price increase will cut deeply into the little disposable income people still have left, making it nigh impossible for the majority of South Africans to make it through the month. Yet, somehow they are expected to make do. This is deeply concerning.”