The South African fuel levy is used to fund government?s general expenditure programmes, including the construction and maintenance of roads and support of public transport. Yet, the continuing reliance of the fuel levy to generate sufficient income is questioned due to a decrease in the average amount of fuel sold per vehicle per annum. The need exists to identify, explore and test a viable and operationally feasible alternative that is not dependant on fuel sales when generating income. The paper undertook a qualitative analysis of transportation financing sources to identify and then explore a viable alternative to the fuel levy. Furthermore, the operational feasibility of the alternative was tested and evaluated through a proof of concept vehicle tracking experiment. A kilometre-based road user charge (KBRUC) system was identified as a viable alternative which addresses many of the problems associated with the fuel levy. The system could entail an on-board global positioning system (GPS) enabled device to be fitted to a road user?s vehicles where vehicle movement data can be collected in order to generate a road use invoice at a set charge per kilometre travelled. The vehicle tracking experiment showed that a suggested configuration of the system is operationally feasible, in small scale, in South African. The paper concludes that further research is needed to assess the operational and technical feasibility of the system on a larger scale as well as policy, social and equity concerns.
Paper presented at the 35th Annual Southern African Transport Conference 4-7 July 2016 "Transport ? a catalyst for socio-economic
growth and development opportunities to improve quality of life", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.