Car licences can’t be withheld for outstanding e-tolls: JPSA

File photo
File photo

Any amendments to the e-road regulations under the SANRAL Act to withhold car licence discs on the basis of outstanding e-tolls must first be published for public comment‚ the Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) reiterated on Thursday.

The non-profit organisation also reiterated that it would use such an opportunity to “argue against that preposterous idea as and when the opportunity arises”.

JPSA national chairman Howard Dembovsky said the first meaningful clarity on the new e-tolls dispensation announced recently by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa “exposed continued smoke and mirrors – again”.

“Sadly‚ Justice Project South Africa is not in the least bit surprised by the fact that the PR exercise announcing the so-called ‘new e-tolls dispensation’ and what has been published in the government gazette notices in question‚ particularly in the tariff gazette‚ whilst sort-of resembling one another‚ don’t actually match one another.

“Road users have once again been misled with respect to the tariff they will be expected to pay – with the repeatedly stated rate of 30c per kilometre again being used to mislead them. The fact is that those who are not registered with or choose not to register with SANRAL and waive the protections afforded to them by the Consumer Protection Act in the process will be expected to pay almost double the tariff if they don’t pay within 7 days‚ and three times that tariff if they don’t pay within 30 days from invoice‚” Demovsky stated.

The fact still remained that a considerably low proportion of daily Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) road users were not and most likely would not easily become registered with SANRAL.

“Furthermore‚ the e-tolls system has not‚ even by a long stretch of the imagination‚ been uncomplicated by even a small degree as recommended by (Gauteng) Premier David Makhura’s ‘e-tolls review panel’ and the collection methods remain expensive‚ cumbersome and burdensome to everyone.”

Demovsky added that SANRAL was still trying to “economically blackmail” road users into registering with them and the interests of SANRAL’s business partners‚ Kapsch and ETC‚ had continued to be “firmly protected so they may continue to profit from unregistered road users”.

“This tariff gazette unfortunately but as expected further exposes the smoke and mirrors methodology of public announcements made in the past‚ and now by the latest messenger of e-tolling propaganda‚ Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.”


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