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Dave James Colquhoun
 
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Dear Mr Mona

14 February 2014, 05:30

I am seeking some clarity on several issues surrounding the E-Tolls and I don’t mean to sound like an ignoramus, but I am genuinely confused here.

First point that I would like to raise is the debate about whether or not the E-Tolling system is a tax. According to my understanding here, it might be but the fact that SANRAL charges VAT on the transactions would indicate that I might be wrong.

I saw your comments at the beginning of February, you have stated that the E-Toll is NOT a tax but rather the VAT is being charged because of the services offered by SANRAL. If I understand this whole set up correctly, SANRAL is a wholly Government owned entity where the Government is the sole shareholder. SANRAL receives a slice of the budget pie just like the Department of education does and this slice of the budget pie comes directly from the taxation structures in South Africa.

So if I understand this correctly, the Government taxes me and everyone else to pay for certain infrastructure including the roads etc. SANRAL then gets this money and supposedly uses this for the roads and road infrastructure maintenance. Therefore I think that the E-Toll is another tax as the money also goes to SANRAL for the same purpose.

How can you say that SANRAL is a non-profit organisation if it receives considerable funding from the Government by means of taxation. This means that VAT cannot be applied as this is already a tax and it is outrageous for someone to have to pay a tax on a tax.

OK, let’s assume that E-Tolls are not another form of taxation as you have stated and let’s pretend that SANRAL is a privately owned corporate entity that has been contracted to build, maintain and provide certain services related to the road infrastructure. I know that this isn’t true as my tax money has already been paid to set up this dummy corporation but let’s assume that this is a privately owned entity outside of Government (even though it isn’t).

So now you want us to believe that you are offering us a service? Hang on a second, I never wanted to use your product but you have now forced me to use your “service” as I have to go that way to earn my living. Then you told us that we have 7 days to pay for using your product which now means that you are extending credit to me. Credit which I haven’t asked for and which I cannot afford.

I don’t recall filling in any papers or agreeing to any credit and I think I would remember this especially it if someone had explained the ludicrous terms and conditions and the consequences of defaulting on this credit to me. As far as I know, and please correct me if I’m wrong, when a financially certified institution like a bank or a retailer offers a person credit, then the onus is on them to have the creditworthiness evaluated before they will grant the credit. Did you forget about this somewhere in your haste to fill your corrupt little paws with as much of our money as you could?

Now, assuming that you are providing a service (for which we are paying) could you explain the billing part of this to me. According to my calculations, you are adding in excess of 500% “interest” for late payment after 7 days. Imagine if your bank did that to you. I’m pretty sure that the courts would never allow any other financial institution to get away with this.

I thought that the in duplum rule would also have applied here and that you could only sue me for a maximum amount of twice the value of the original debt. After all, you are supposedly (by your own statements) only providing a service. Surely, the Consumer Protection Act was promulgated to deal with these types of credit agreement

You then go on to say that we am going to be arrested and that I go to jail if I don’t pay for this service that I didn’t ask for. I always thought that defaulting on a credit agreement (which neither of us have here) meant that you would be blacklisted and prevented from getting any further credit and then some of my hard earned possessions could be sold off to cover the debt.

I also see that you haven’t made any attempts to stop me from accessing any “credit” with your organisation so therefore I have to assume that you have investigated my financial circumstances and confirmed that I can afford this like every other legitimate financial service provider has to do.

So tell me Mr Mona, are we being taxed for things that we have already paid for and then taxed again (VAT) for that tax or are we being treated as consumers with rights here?

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