Calling for e-toll answers
Wednesday, May 17, marked the end of the period for Gauteng motorists to pay their outstanding historic e-toll accounts at a reduced rate of 60 percent, as announced in May 2015 by deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, after being extended from May 2.
The Automobile Association (AA) believes it is an opportune time to assess the success of the e-toll system with regard to the number of motorists who have paid their accounts.
“These numbers should indicate, once and for all, what the uptake of e-tolls in Gauteng has been, and, therefore, provide concrete evidence to the extent that it has been accepted or rejected in the province,” the AA says.
To this end, the AA has posed a number of questions to the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral).
“Since the inception of e-tolling in Gauteng, many numbers have been bandied about regarding the uptake, or lack thereof, by the Gauteng motoring public. By providing clear and indisputable answers to our questions, Sanral has the opportunity to prove its assertion that Gauteng motorists have begun paying their debt and are, by extension, beginning to accept the system,” the Association notes.
“However, should the numbers still remain low, it will prove that Gauteng motorists have rejected e-tolling and the costs associated with this form of collection of debts. Regardless of the result, there is an urgent need for a solution, one way or another, to bring closure to this messy saga, which appears to have no end in sight,” the AA concludes.
The questions the AA has posed include:
- How many of the 4,5 million registered vehicles in Gauteng are making use of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP)?
- How many of these vehicles have been e-tagged?
- Of the total vehicles using the GFIP, how many have paid, and how many accounts are outstanding?
- How many motorists have taken up the 60-percent discount offer, and settled their historic debt with Sanral?
- How many motorists have taken up the 60-percent discount offer, and made arrangements to settle their accounts with Sanral?
- How much money has been collected since the introduction of e-tolling in December 2013?
- Of the money collected, how much has been retained for the management of the collections and the collections infrastructure, and how much of it has gone to servicing Sanral’s road-related debt and road development?
- How much money does Sanral believe it has lost through non-compliance of e-toll payments?
- If Sanral intends issuing summonses on all outstanding accounts, as it has indicated it will, how long does it anticipate this process will take to reach its conclusion?