By 2037, motorists travelling between Johannesburg and Pretoria should prepare themselves for a six-hour trip. That is reportedly how long this trip will take should phase 2 of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) not be implemented, according to Electronic Toll Collection (ETC), the company responsible for collecting tolls on behalf of the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral). But why are we not investing in other options to ease traffic congestion, in particular high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes? Phase 2 of the project is the second stage of the improvement project that introduced the controversial e-toll system to Gauteng highways. It involves building a further 158km of new roads to redirect traffic from congested spots in Gauteng — including a highway between Soshanguve and Sandton; a new road between Soweto and Johannesburg; and a ring road around Johannesburg. It has been severely delayed by Sanral and ETC’s failure to collect e-tolls. Increasing traffic an...

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