Toll roads and E-toll

In South Africa, tolls are used for maintenance and improvement of the road network. Tax money is used for the maintenance of 81% of the road network, the remaining 19% of South Africa’s roads are toll roads. These are in particular the highways between the larger cities. You will find so-called ‘toll plaza’ where you pay before you can use this road.

You drive to the roadway with the ‘manual’ sign where you can pay in cash and then continue your way. Both for economic and social development and for tourism it is important that the roads are well maintained. You can often avoid toll roads, but the alternative route is always longer, takes more time and you travel on bad roads.

At some toll gates you can pay in cash. So make sure you always have some cash with you in case you use a toll road

E-toll in Gauteng
In the province of Gauteng (the economic heart of the country), another toll system has been in use since December 2013: e-toll. E-toll is an electronic toll system where drivers do not have to stop at a toll plaza, but automatically pay toll when they drive under a toll gate. You will see these toll gates on a number of highways between Pretoria and Johannesburg (in the dark they shine a purple light). All cars using these highways are required to have an e-tag (a chip), this e-tag registers when the car drives under the toll gate and the money is debited from the bank account of the end of the month the driver or via a pre-paid system where the driver puts money on his e-tag.
If you use these roads with a rental car then you are also required to pay e-toll. Your rental car must therefore be provided with an e-tag and you will hear a ‘beep’ when you drive under the electronic toll gate. The maximum amount that a driver must pay in e-toll per month is set at 450 Rand.

Most car rental companies add this amount to your deposit and pay you back the overpaid amount after the rental period. So you only pay when you use these roads.

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