How often is it that we hear announcements about the increase of toll gate fees? We are always up to date with petrol price hikes and the stock market so how is it that we are not as aware of toll gate fees? As minor as they are, toll gate fees make up a huge part of your expenses when traveling long distance and even for commuters that go through toll gates on a daily basis when commuting to work.

The Department of Transport recently published the new toll tariffs for 2020. This report outlined the costs of traveling on our national routes. While the newly announced fees are questionable for the continued inclusion of e-tolls, the report also highlights how it has become rather pricey to travel to some popular holiday destinations in South Africa.

Most road users were against e-tolls since their introduction in 2013. The newly set rules were met with much resistance by most road users. This led to non-payment by a majority of the nation and its road users and calls to cancel the system altogether. However, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni made it very clear tat the system could not be scrapped unless if a replacement source of revenue was found. This led to many South Africans being left disappointment.

We had numerous petrol hikes in 2019 and with this trend expected to continue in 2020, long distance commuters will now have to look at other forms of transportation such as air travel or using buses.

Looking at the current financial situation of most South Africans, it seems taking a bus would be one of the cheapest ways to travel in South Africa. Most long-distance bus service providers do offer both one-way and return service to both small and larger towns countrywide.

By looking online, I have gathered that a person can buy a ticket to travel for a single trip from Johannesburg to Durban for R105 on the Cityliner Coaches. This seems much cheaper than what you would spend driving down (having to take into consideration the price of a full tank and toll gates along the way). With the release of the new toll fees, it will cost you R500 return trip in toll fees to drive from Johannesburg to Durban. These fees were calculated based on the Johannesburg/Pretoria-Durban toll route outlined by the Automobile Association along with the new tariff fees.

The new toll fees are set to come into effect as of the 1st of March 2020.

By Noni Nchwe