The Limpopo farmer who opened up an alternative road for motorists to bypass a new tollgate has closed it after the local community was granted a 66 per cent discount to use the plaza. But the matter is not over yet.
The Limpopo farmer who opened up an alternative road for motorists to bypass a new tollgate has closed it after the local community was granted a 66 per cent discount to use the plaza.
The newly opened Baobab Toll Plaza, between Musina and Makhado, is near to the property of game farmer Gideon Meiring. Meiring said he had opened the road as a form of protest against the commissioning of yet another tollgate.
The toll fees are R19, R48 and R67 for light, medium and heavy traffic respectively, while Meiring charged R5 for cars, R10 for medium vehicles and R20 for heavy vehicles.
Meiring said a day-long meeting between the community and the South African National Road Agency in Mopane had resulted in a compromise. It was decided that farmers within a 25-km radius of the tollgate would receive a 66 per cent discount on toll tariffs.
“We have closed the road as they have promised to attend to our grievances. We will be meeting again in two weeks’ time. We are still concerned about big trucks using the toll road, which is dangerous as the road is under construction. There is a single lane with a few stops along the way,” he said.
Meiring said there were people at the meeting who reported that it took an hour and a half to cover the 65-km route between Makhado and Mopane because of all the stops and traffic delays. “We will be meeting transport departments before the next meeting to sort out the problem of the trucks using the road. We do not think it is safe,” he said.
Meiring said they were awaiting an answer on why motorists needed to pay toll fees on a road that had not yet been completed. reported that other organisations in the area had also called for the closure of the toll gate.