The latest on e-tolling

PHOTO: Siobhan Beuschel
A Gauteng e-road user received an invoice stating she has an outstanding e-toll fee for a taxi, even though she does not own a taxi.
PHOTO: Siobhan Beuschel A Gauteng e-road user received an invoice stating she has an outstanding e-toll fee for a taxi, even though she does not own a taxi.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) will not be arresting or prosecuting anyone with an outstanding e-toll bill, the NPA told Rekord. This comes after the NPA announced that it has assigned two prosecutors to establish whether or not Gauteng motorists are breaking the law by not paying the tolls.

“Our mandate is not to arrest people. It is not for us to bring non-paying motorists to court. Sanral has to prepare the summons for arrest, and until then, we are not going to prosecute,” NPA spokesperson, Nathi Mncube, said.

Meanwhile, the Gauteng Premier David Makhura and a panel of 15, are assessing the impact of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project on Gauteng motorists and the economy.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters announced on Tuesday that various new discounts will be introduced to the e-tolling system. The discounts will be categorised into the following:

  • The further extension of the payment period to avoid the Violations Processing Centre process that would negatively affect vehicle owners.
  • Users will have an extended payment period of 51 days from the day they pass through a gantry. They will also receive the time-of-day discount.
  • A non-registered user will receive 60% off the alternative tariff if they pay within 61 days.
  • Registered users will receive 48% discount including time-of-day and frequent user discounts and the R450 calendar month cap for class A2/light vehicles.

Labour union Solidariteit, says the transport department’s measures have been in force since the inception of e-tolling in December. They state that the four types of discounts have been in effect from the start of the e-tolling system and are not new.

“The minister moreover announced that unregistered road users will receive a 60% discount on the alternative tariff if they pay within 51 days. However, it is not clear from the minister’s speech whether or not this measure is actually a significant change. There is already effectively a grace period of at least 37 days that, in practice, can be even longer than 51days due to the way in which the Violations Processing Centre processes e-toll accounts,” said spokesperson, Cilleste van der Walt.

In addition, anti-tolling organisation, Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) feels that the announcement by the transport minister is only to entice road users to buy into e-tolling. “We believe that this announcement serves two purposes. One being another carrot to entice the public to buy-in to the ill-conceived scheme. Secondly, we believe the prosecuting authorities have noted an extreme difficulty in trying to achieve successful prosecution under the current regulations, terms and conditions,” said Outa chairperson, Wayne Duvenage.

He added that the minister’s announcement is further evidence that the system is not working. “Sanral must provide the user with an invoice and payment is expected within seven days to qualify for certain benefits, yet how does one, especially businesses, pay within seven days without an invoice. The minister’s ‘reprieve’ is in fact further evidence that the system is fundamentally ill-conceived, unworkable and destined for the scrap heap of history,” said Duvenage.

Also read: Sanral responds to e-toll queries

E-toll billing a problem

E-tolls will change property landscape

E-toll grace period extended

AA calls on its members to resist e-toll

High hopes for e-toll panel

Wayne Duvenage on e-tolls

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  AUTHOR
Rorisang Kgosana
online journalist

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