The new policy is viewed as an opportunity to decongest the roads of private cars.

The Department of Transport has published its Green Transport Strategy for 2018 – 2050, which lays out plans for new taxes, and changes to existing ones.

The strategy outlines the department’s plans for the road, rail and aviation sectors, with a focus on the country’s international commitments to reduce emissions

In addition to a number of broader strategies  – such as encouraging a push towards renewable energy vehicles – the document outlines some formal regulatory changes which are likely to have a direct impact on South African motorists.

“Road infrastructure is affected by several factors, but most importantly environmental factors, the volume of vehicles and the weight of the vehicles on the road,” the department said.

“All roads are built with an intended life cycle, but with the impact of the traffic load, as well as the environment (heat, cold, rainfall etc.) the deterioration rate is accelerated.”

Because of these challenges, the department said that it will prepare regulatory actions targeted at encouraging the modal shift from road to rail and from private vehicle use to public transport.