Sanral faces challenge to tolls tarriffs
Johannesburg - The FF Plus is planning to take Sanral to the Consumer Commission over the punitive rate that motorists who do not get e-tags will have to pay, the party said on Monday.
"This difference in tariffs establishes unjustifiable discrimination and illegally forces road users to register for e-tags," Freedom Front Plus spokesperson Anton Alberts said in a statement.
Earlier on Monday, the SA National Roads Agency Ltd said motorists who did not register for the tags would pay a three times higher punitive rate for using Gauteng's toll roads.
This meant that motorists would be charged R1.75/km, compared to the standard tariff of 30c/km for registered users.
Consumer Protection Act
Alberts said the party would ask Commissioner Mamodupi Mohlala to intervene and prevent the tariffs, since, according to him, it was "prohibited by the Consumer Protection Act".
"It is also clear that the minister [of transport Sibusiso Ndebele] and Sanral waited until the last minute before the system is supposed to be activated and just within the 14-day period as prescribed by [the] Sanral Act," he said.
"It underscores once again the dishonesty of the government. On the one hand they are making concessions and on the other hand they are taking back."
The FF Plus's complaint was based on section 48 of the Consumer Protection Act. This prohibits unreasonable and unfair prices. Section 40 makes it illegal for a provider to use force to render a service, and section eight prevents unjustifiable discrimination.
Sanral said the punitive rate was due to the need to recover costs, including invoicing and debt collection.
‘Don’t be intimidated by bullies’
Sanral's statement followed criticism from the Democratic Alliance on Sunday that the new rate was introduced without consulting the public.
The Justice Project SA on Sunday criticised Sanral and Ndebele for "intimidating" motorists to buy e-tags.
"Just when we thought [they] could not get any more devious, they have surprised us all...Now, more than ever is the time for Gauteng motorists to stand firm and refuse to be intimidated by the bullies," it said.
According to Sanral, 300 000 road users had bought e-tags at the beginning of this month. Tolling was scheduled to start on April 30.