Sanral continues to mislead public on e-tolls – Outa

2013-11-26 17:12

The SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) is continuing to mislead the public about e-tags and e-tolling, the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) has said.

The figure Sanral had provided on the number of e-tags that had been sold was a ploy to create the impression that people were flocking to purchase them, Outa chairman Wayne Duvenage said today.

“Sanral have yet to confirm how many actual individual road users have purchased an e-tag, which we suspect is a much smaller proportion of total e-tag sales,” he said in a statement.

He said the figure provided by Sanral that 700 000 e-tags were sold included large fleet operators, banks, car rental companies, government fleets and leasing companies.

“We simply don’t believe their rhetoric in this space,” he said.

This morning, Sapa made inquiries about the number of e-tags sold to individuals, the number sold to government departments and the number sold to companies. By 4pm, Sanral had not responded.

Duvenage said the information given by Sanral was incorrect as its website calculator gave different figures.

“They have misled the public before and we are convinced they are doing this again to create false impressions of acceptance of their system. The simple truth is the public are not taking this lying down.”

Outa has said it will soon release details of its strategy on empowering society, including providing motorists with knowledge about their rights and legal advice.

Duvenage said Outa would provide legal counsel and a legal team to the first person to have been served with a summons for nonpayment of e-toll bills.

He said: “This first case will be the test case... Until then, Outa urges the public to exercise civil courage and know that it is not only their right, but their duty to resist and reject a law which has been implemented in a manner that works against the best interests of the people.”

Meanwhile, Avis Southern Africa, the company where Duvenage used to work, said it would support e-tolls.

“The introduction of e-tolls in Gauteng will be a new experience for us all,” Avis rent-a-car Southern Africa CEO Keith Rankin said in a statement today.

“However, we have invested significantly in our systems and people to ensure that our customers’ Avis rental experience will continue to be as seamless as possible as they are our greatest asset.”

Avis had installed e-tags in its national fleet and had developed the necessary IT systems to ensure that any e-toll fees incurred by its customers during the rental period would be included in their final invoice.

A final invoice would be available only two days after the vehicle was returned and would highlight the total e-toll amount, the company said.

“Avis will charge the standard e-toll tariff, per e-toll gantry, to a monthly maximum value of R450 as published in the Government Gazette,” it said.

“The standard tariff, which is higher than the tariff paid by registered e-tag users, is being charged to enable Avis to recover the costs of implementing systems and resources to manage e-toll compliance.”

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