DA lodges complaint about tolls

2012-01-16 19:00
Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance in Gauteng lodged a complaint about toll collection with the National Consumer Tribunal on Monday.

"We have taken this step as we do not believe the battle against the tolls is over even though the February implementation date has been delayed," the party said.

The DA said it believed the planned tolls infringed sections of the Consumer Protection Act which protected consumers from unfair, unreasonable and unjust practices.

Grounds for opposing it include the fact that toll road users had to give access to their bank accounts for unknown amounts to be deducted for e-tolling.

There was also a high possibility of error or fraud during this process, and there was no clarity on how incorrectly deducted amounts would be refunded, the DA said.

Some of the more than 200 000 people who had already registered for e-tolling said they had not been told about administrative fees, such as a R5 charge for statements sent in the post.

Unfair discrimination

In addition, the exclusion of certain classes such as taxis was unfair discrimination, the DA said.

Last year, the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) announced that tolling was imminent on 185km of the N1, N3, N12 and R21 around Johannesburg and Tshwane.

In terms of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, these roads and their interchanges had been improved and costs estimated at about R20bn will be recouped through toll charges.

Light motor vehicles are expected to be charged R0.40/km, medium vehicles R1/km, "longer" vehicles R2/km, and bikers R0.24/km.

Qualifying commuter taxis and buses would be exempted entirely.

Sanral announced on Friday that e-tolling had been placed on hold, following a meeting on Thursday with Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele and a huge outcry that the tolls were unaffordable.

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