Animals council takes a swipe at Sanral

2012-04-17 13:37

E-toll tariffs will severely impact on the ability of the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) to rescue animals, the council said today.

“We do not receive any funds whatsoever from national or local government and exemption from Sanral (South African National Roads Agency Limited) was denied,” NSPCA said in a statement.

Spokesperson Christine Kuch said accidents involving animals – overturned trucks carrying animals or vehicles with animals on board involved in accidents – did occur.

The council appealed for exemption in September but this was denied. It argued that the council was involved in “emergency issues” such as disasters, rescue missions, animal neglect and abuse investigations.

Kuch said rescuing and removing animals from highways was a means of effective accident prevention. “The NSPCA now finds itself in a position whereby we shall have no option but to use public funds to pay for our vehicles to be allowed onto freeways as we go to assist animals.

“It is ludicrous – if not downright immoral – that our hard-earned cash will be used for the purpose of paying tolls.”

Sanral gazetted new tariffs on Friday. It described an “alternate user” as someone “who does not have a valid and operational e-tag, is not registered with Sanral, and who is not a day-pass user”.

Yesterday, Sanral said alternate users would be charged R1.75 per kilometre, compared to the standard tariff of 30 cents per kilometre for registered users.

It said the higher fee was due to the need to recover costs, including invoicing and debt collection.

According to Sanral, 300 000 road users had bought e-tags at the beginning of this month.

The toll system officially launches on April 30.

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