The proposed toll roads in Gauteng, which are now under review, are based on projects similar to those undertaken in London, Chile and India. The tolling system is a sophisticated one which does not require vehicles to stop, but rather scans e-tags or number plates as vehicles pass under gantries. These gantries are situated at intervals along the highway to enable SANRAL to correctly calculate each toll fee.
SANRAL envisages that people will choose either to get an e-tag which is linked to their bank account or choose a pay-as-you-go system to pay their toll fees.
Concerns have been raised about the possibility of fraud however, as well as the implications of enforcing the tolls.
Companies that transport goods around Gauteng – particularly those that use Johannesburg as a delivery hub – will need to monitor the use of their e-tags to make certain that there is no misuse. “We recommend that companies ensure that their logistics divisions are prepared for the implementation of the system. Companies need to install systems that can monitor the usage of their e-tags when the system is introduced, including fraud prevention policies and forensic data analytics to establish patters of usage”, says Tommy Prins of Deloitte’s Risk Advisory.
Forensic Data Analytics can assist companies to establish patterns of usage when monitoring their e-tag systems to detect anomalies. In addition, it can assist with the integrity of payment systems, considering that they may be linked to the bank accounts of many commuters.
“SANRAL has already established a toll-free hotline for road users, which we suggest should be enhanced to facilitate reporting of fraud or abuse of the system prior to its implementation. The public can assist SANRAL to ensure compliance with the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project initiative by reporting irregularities, including vehicles driving without number plates, the theft of e-tags etc”.
SANRAL will need to forge close ties with the SAPS and the private sector to ensure that abuses of the system are rectified through investigation and taking civil or criminal action against offenders.
“The debate about fees aside, SANRAL’s toll-road initiative should help to get our roads into shape, lower emissions, reduce traffic jams and improve transportation. To ensure that these positive attributes come about however, individuals and companies must play their part in keeping the system effective,” concludes Prins.
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