The impact of e-tolling on the recreational spending of people living in the Vaal Region
The primary objective was to ascertain whether implementation of the e-tolling system will influence the spending on recreational activities by people staying in the Vaal Region. Thus the aim was to assess whether an incremental rise in expenses, leading to a decrease in available disposable income will impact people’s decisions to travel outside their residences to visit and engage in leisure destinations and activities respectively. A questionnaire was developed and distributed with the primary objective of determining whether people within the Vaal Region are aware of the costs associated with travelling using the e-toll Gauteng freeways, and whether it will have an impact on their decisions to travel from their respective residences to leisure properties elsewhere. It also probed the respondents for the type of leisure activities they engage in, frequency of visits and the reasons for participating in the respective activities. The study shows that the e-toll project will inevitably, from a monetary perspective, affect all road users travelling from the Vaal Region to the greater Johannesburg areas. This is significant and confirms that the e-toll project will be perceived to have an impact on people’s available and disposable income. With the implementation of the e-tolling project seemingly imminent, businesses and consumers will feel the belt tighten in the leisure and recreational (and in particular the casino) industry, which is dependent on the availability of disposable income, to be ultimately affected. Trends with regards to leisure activities were identified along with recommendations for future research.