51-day e-toll reprieve doesn’t reduce financial burden on motorists – Outa

2014-07-18 18:09

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The e-toll concessions announced by Transport Minister Dipuo Peters do not reduce the system’s cost for road users.

“There is never a dull day in the e-toll fiasco,” Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) chairperson Wayne Duvenage said today.

“The simple reality is that easier payment conditions and qualifications for the various tariff structures do not reduce the cost of the e-toll collection process.

“Neither does it make the process more efficient or any more rational than it has been,” he said.

Peters made the announcement on Tuesday when she opened the debate in Parliament about her department’s budget.

She told MPs the concessions were intended “to make it easier for people to comply” with e-tolls.

They included a “further extension of the payment period to avoid the violations processing centre process that would negatively affect vehicle owners”.

Peters said users would have 51 days, from the day they passed through the gantry, as opposed to the current seven days, to pay.

“A non-registered user will receive ... 60% off the alternative tariff if they pay within 51 days.”

Registered users would get a 48% e-tag holder discount, time-of-day discounts, frequent user discounts and a R450 calendar month cap for class A2/light vehicles”.

To applause from ANC benches, Peters said she trusted the concessions “would go some way towards lessening the financial burden on the part of users”.

Duvenage said it could be deduced from the concessions that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) realised how onerous it would be for authorities to make criminal charges stick.

“The prosecution process would have been like trying to climb a cliff in a monsoon. That explains the 51 day extension,” he said.

The NPA said on Tuesday it had appointed two prosecutors to work with the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) to deal with non-payment of e-tolls.

“We have assigned two prosecutors to work with Sanral with a view to establishing whether the activities by some motorists constitute an offence in terms of the Sanral Act,” said NPA spokesperson Nathi Mncube.

“Section 27(5)(a) makes it an offence to refuse or fail to pay the amount of toll that is due and is punishable on conviction with imprisonment or a fine.”

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