The e-toll Saga Continues...

2015-05-29 11:31

Despite motorists outward displays opposing the e-toll system and the outcry of many citizens for not having being consulted prior to the establishment of this new dispensation, Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, recently announced that the e-tolls are here to stay, and pay you will!

According to Ramaphosa, all e-toll fees currently outstanding will be discounted by 60 percent and all road users currently in arrears will have six months to pay. He went on further to say that outstanding e-toll fees will be linked to the license renewal system and that road users will have to settle their bills with Sanral before new license discs are issued. (That should deter anyone opposed to the Urban Tolling or "new dispensation" as they like to call it, right? Wrong!!)

It is noteworthy to mention that motorists will still be able to apply and pay for a new license disc, they simply won't receive it. Motor vehicles are considered not roadworthy if their licensing fees are not up to date and the fact that one does not display a new license disc has no effect on the road worthiness of the vehicle. The only real consequence not displaying your license disc is, is if the traffic cops decide not to sit and take happy pictures and instead opt for roadblocks and spot checks. In this instance they will write you a fine for R250 which, if paid within the grace period, is discounted to R125. Failure to pay this, and once the fine goes through all the steps in the AARTO process, an enforcement order gets issued which has the effect of blocking your licensing transactions on the e-natis data base which... Surprise surprise! Is already blocked for not having paid your e-toll fees. In essence, there is no real consequence over and above them writing out the ticket and the time it takes for them to write it.

Like everything, there are pros and cons to adopting the attitude of simply not renewing your license discs. Insurance companies may repudiate any claims you lodge for damages to your vehicle as a result of a collision for example, on the basis that your vehicle is unlicensed (not if you do not display your license disc).

The Justice Project South Africa, who are not in favour of the e-toll regulations, have indicated that they will be submitting their comments when these new regulations are published in the Government Gazette for public comment and have advised that they will caution the government and relevant departments against holding people hostage by not giving them their license discs.

The Justice Project certainly has my vote and I'm sure OUTA's too!

On average, about 6.5 million vehicles travel on the roads within Gauteng each and every day and pretty soon, most vehicles will be unlicensed, uninsured and their fuel tanks running on empty.

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