E-tolls: You now have 51 days to pay

2014-07-16 06:00

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has announced a “reprieve” for the users of Gauteng’s toll roads.

Opening the debate in Parliament on her department’s budget yesterday, she told MPs this was being done “to make it easier for people to comply” with e-tolls.

The concessions included a “further extension of the payment period to avoid the VPC [Violations Processing Centre] process that would negatively affect vehicle owners”.

Peters said users would “have an extended payment period of 51 days, from the day they pass through the gantry, as opposed to the [current] seven days”.

They would also receive the time-of-day discount.

“A non-registered user will receive ... 60% off the alternative tariff if they pay within 51 days.”

For registered users, the following reprieves would be introduced:

» a 48% e-tag-holder discount;

» time-of-day discounts;

» frequent-user discounts, and;

» a “R450 calendar-month cap for class A2/light vehicles”.

Peters said, to applause from ruling party benches, that she trusted the concessions “will go some way towards lessening the financial burden on the part of users”.

She also told Parliament that the user-pay principle remained a policy of government.

“We urge the users of the tolled Gauteng road network to continue contributing towards the building of a better South Africa... to move our country forward.”

She urged those who were not registered for e-tolls to do so, including MPs.

“It is our responsibility, as a collective of lawmakers, to make sure that we encourage South Africans to be responsible for that which they would want to have.”

Speaking later in the debate, DA MP Manny de Freitas told Peters the public had unanimously rejected e-tolls.

“This issue has been handled poorly from the very beginning,” he said.

Labelling the review announced last week by Gauteng premier David Makhura as “nothing more than a public relations stunt”, he called on the minister to appoint a parliamentary committee to review e-tolling.

He also challenged her to tell Parliament “if Sanral still intends to pursue the prosecution and criminalisation of some one million people who have not paid their e-toll bills”.

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