Submission by the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) on the Gauteng Open Road Tolling

08 April 2011 South African Insurance Association (SAIA)

The South African National Road Agency (SANRAL) recently announced the poll tariffs for open road tolling. The South African Insurance Association (SAIA) drafted a submission in response to this announcement which was sent in today to the Department of Transport, requesting that the toll structure be reviewed.

"SAIA members, collectively, insure around 3.5 million vehicles, of which the majority are in Gauteng, and we believe that the impact that the proposed toll fees could have on road safety issues are enormous, as motorists may be forced to use secondary roads and other roads, as a result of prohibitive costs. The condition of these roads and congestion could lead to an increase in road accidents, which could lead to an increase in claims costs. This, as well as certain crime related areas such as inappropriate licensing of vehicles, false number plates and other related issues, could have a negative impact on affordable motor insurance," said Dawie Buys, Motor Manager of the SAIA.

The SAIA Board had approved Motor Insurance as a key strategic area for the SAIA, and a SAIA Motor Strategy, to address the strategic objectives of creating an environment where all South African motorists have access to sustainable, affordable and comprehensive motor insurance and improving the safety for all road users, was approved by the Board in February 2010.

"The SAIA is not opposed to tolling and we acknowledge the improvements which have been made on the Gauteng Province`s freeway system, but we are opposed to the high cost and the lack of appropriate consultation prior to the announcement of these tariffs by the South African National Road Agency (SANRAL). We therefore earnestly appeal to the Department of Transport (DoT) and the Minister of Transport to review the toll tariff structure and the funding model and to come up with a transparent and more affordable option, to ensure that road safety is not compromised and ultimately, that the cost of claims are contained," said Dawie Buys, Motor Manager of the SAIA

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