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Empty offices for eTags

By Sapa | Apr 13, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 18 ]

Gauteng’s e-toll registration outlets are empty with virtually no-one registering for e-tags, despite the looming April 30 deadline, when the tolls go live.

The bright orange e-toll registration outlets, operated by the SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral), are in shopping malls and alongside highways across Gauteng for motorists to register for discount toll fees.

Some outlets have self-help computers for those who don’t need direct help, as well as flat screen televisions sets and comfortable chairs in anticipation of the queues.

Yet, despite being staffed with between three to five cashiers and a branch supervisor, outlets had no customers on Thursday when Sapa reporter Carol Campbell visited them.

At one, a cashier was painting her nails while another was reading a magazine.

At Maponya mall in Soweto, human resources consultant Tshepo Tsotetsi was the only registration in an hour.

“I registered my wife and myself with a heavy heart. I don’t want to break the law and I use the highways all the time getting around for work,” he said.

“But I didn’t do it in good faith.” 

At the same mall Bafana Mkhabela took an e-toll registration brochure.

“I use my mom’s car to get to college in Centurion and, although I don’t want to register, she thinks I should,” the third-year computer student said.

“It’s going to cost our family a lot though, because I go through four tolls just to get to college.” 

At Cresta centre in Randburg, the e-toll outlet was empty, despite three cashiers waiting for customers.

Businessman Tertius Barnardt, who uses the post office next door daily said he had never seen anyone inside.

“Yesterday I took a pamphlet from a woman handing them out at a traffic light,” he said, “she was so delighted and surprised that I was even prepared to take one”. 

Barnardt said he was still unsure if he would register.

“In Gauteng, we are up to our necks in fees and taxes,” he said, "and where is the money for this going to go?” 

Lwando Malotana, a training consultant from Randpark Ridge, said he was hoping the whole project would be scrapped before he had to register.

“I watched what happened with the national strike in March and I have been following the debate with interest,” he said, referring to the protest against e-tolling by trade union federation Cosatu.

“I will wait and see and maybe register just before the tolls go online.” 

San Ridge Square in Midrand was busy on Thursday, the parking area full, but the e-toll outlet empty.

This area would be heavily affected by the e-tolls on the N1, which links the area with Johannesburg and Pretoria. At this e-toll outlet, five staff chatted with each other to pass the time.

Stephen Maupi, a credit controller for a cellphone company, said he commuted from Randburg to his office in Midrand, and constantly moved around Gauteng visiting stores.

“In South Africa these things are proposed and then we just have to pay. I would like to know more about this Austrian company that has been involved with the e-tolls and where the money from all of this is going to go.” 

Michael Mafagane, a maintenance worker commuting weekly from Pretoria to Midrand, said he welcomed the move to exempt public transport from e-tolls.

“There are a lot of cars with just one person in them driving on this highway. Maybe it’s time people started using public transport to save on e-toll fees. This is one way of cutting down the traffic on our roads.” 

At Benmore shopping centre, three cashiers watched the clock until going-home time. The mall was busy but no-one was at the e-toll outlet.

Douglasdale retiree Robin James had no intention to register for the e-toll.

“If the authorities can’t get an electricity bill right, why would I give them access to my bank account for the e-toll?” he asked.

“No, we have had enough. They (Sanral) can send me a bill. If they can find me.” 

COMMENTS [ 18 ]

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They are going to victimize the non-paying citizens by sending letters at home. United we stand, these things must go away

Apr 13, 2012 12:12 | 0 replies

how come all of a sudden cosatu is quiet after it was revealed that they gained 24 mil . and i suppose since they are getting a piece of the pie the conflict of interest here stinks like a dead rat.

i once stated that the soccer world cup was a bad idea. fifa ra.ped us blind.

Apr 14, 2012 2:57 | 0 replies

I smell a rat. The way the government is determined to make sure that etolling is implemented, is highly suspicious. They are now rushing legislation in parliament to make sure that the illegal tolling is legalised. I will not be suprised here that the beneficiary is Chancellor House.

Apr 13, 2012 10:52 | 0 replies

Who is this Nazir Alli anyway? Who hands over files of blacked out pages to Vavi? And he smiles while he does it. And ducks two meetings with the Consumer Commission.

We never voted for him. What sky did he fall out of? He needs to get some incurable disease for dropping this on us.

Apr 13, 2012 3:55 | 0 replies

its so sad that the roads they want us to pay for already have ripples,incomplete and some potholes and in pta the M1 has seen better days, they need to be strong as we wont pay for this Fafi Game they want us to subcribe to hey!

Apr 13, 2012 3:17 | 0 replies

Funny I use N3 and they haven’t opened all line coz of construction but they are rolling the system, we can’t enrich ANC crew because they milk government money and they want extra source of income. Zuma and Ndebele must not underestimate us coz hell will break loose

Apr 13, 2012 3:9 | 0 replies

rahima

what do you mean, remember?
We still having it. When have you ever driven down that road and not had roadworks effing up everything? Its a constant money making pit. Poor Albertina Sesulu's highway looks like a relief map of Blade's face at the moment.

Apr 13, 2012 2:54 | 0 replies

I stay in KZN but if I was in JHB I would also not pay this Sanral sche.me. If people are united, and no one pays this thing, I'm sure they will scratch it. No amount of inti.midation or arrest will stop united people. Amandla!!!!

Apr 13, 2012 2:33 | 0 replies

You can all remember the years of road construction when we were often down to one lane. The bottlenecks. The wasted hours while we waited for the road improvements.

We were told it was for the World Cup. Suffer now and the benefit of the Cup will be forever.

So now, after our suffering, Scamral wants to charge us? We were told all the Billions to be made from the World Cup would pay.

Where is all that FIFA money?

We have been scammed. We sat in blockages on the roads for years, believing we were doing our bit for the Cup. Now eToll.

Scamral can shove their eTag in their gantry.

Apr 13, 2012 2:25 | 0 replies

UNITED WE STAND.... it will cost them even more sending us those bills that we will be ignoring as well. What will they do take da whole of Gauteng road users to court?

Apr 13, 2012 2:1 | 0 replies

Those who bought e-Tags are traitors.

Apr 13, 2012 1:49 | 0 replies