E-tolls remain, but Sanral halts debt collections

An e-toll gantry.
An e-toll gantry.
Image: Daniel Born

Motorists who have racked up bills by failing to pay e-tolls in Gauteng are off the hook - for past debt.

The board of directors of the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) resolved at a meeting on Tuesday to halt debt collections, the agency said on Wednesday.

This follows years of resistance to the multibillion-rand e-tolls project by civil organisations and motorists.

In November 2017 motorists in the province owed R9.2bn, BusinessLIVE reported.

Gauteng premier David Makhura last February conceded that the highly contested e-tolls system was a failure. He said a new model was needed to fund road development. In April last year, he said President Cyril Ramaphosa had for the second time agreed to intervene in the non-payment saga.  

The e-toll system remains in force, and the Sanral statement did not make any reference to its viability.

On Wednesday, the agency said its board had resolved that, given the initiative led by Ramaphosa to address the e-tolls payment impasse, "Sanral will, with immediate effect, suspend the process of pursuing e-toll debt".

"This includes historic debt and summonses applied for from 2015. No new summonses will be applied for.

"This decision will be constantly monitored by the board and reviewed according to prevailing circumstances."

It added: "Sanral is an agency of government and remains committed to delivering on its mission of a safe, efficient, reliable and resilient national road transport system for the benefit of all the people of South Africa."


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