May 17th marked the end of the extended period for Gauteng motorists to pay their outstanding historic e-toll accounts at a reduced rate of 60 percent in relation to the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP).
In May last year, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the 60% reduction as an incentive to get more Gauteng motorists to settle their historic debt with the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL). This offer expired on May 2nd but was extended until May 17th by Transport Minister Dipuo Peters.
“Following the announcement of the discounts – and the subsequent extension – we believe it is an opportune time to assess the success of the e-toll system in so far as motorists who have paid their accounts. These numbers should indicate, once and for all, what the uptake of e-tolls in Gauteng has been, and therefore provide concrete evidence as to what extent it has been accepted or rejected in the province,” the AA says.
To this end, the AA calls on SANRAL to answer the following questions:
- How many of the 4.5 million registered vehicles in Gauteng are making use of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP)?
- How many of these vehicles have been e-tagged?
- Of the total vehicles using the GFIP, how many have paid and how many accounts are outstanding?
- How many motorists have taken up the 60% discount offer and settled their historic debt with SANRAL?
- How many motorists have taken up the 60% discount offer and made arrangements to settle their accounts with SANRAL?
- How much money has been collected since the introduction of e-tolling in December 2013?
- Of the money collected, how much has been retained for the management of the collections and collections infrastructure and how much of it has gone to servicing SANRAL’s road-related debt and road development?
- How much money does SANRAL believe it has lost through non-compliance of e-toll payments?
- If SANRAL intends issuing summonses on all outstanding accounts, as it has indicated it will, how long does it anticipate this process taking to reach its conclusion?
“Since the inception of e-tolling in Gauteng, many numbers have been bandied about regarding the uptake, or lack thereof, by the Gauteng motoring public. By providing clear and indisputable answers to the above questions, SANRAL has the opportunity to prove its assertion that Gauteng motorists have begun paying their debt and are, by extension, beginning to accept the system,” the AA notes.
The AA says should the numbers, however, prove to remain low at the end of this discount campaign, it will be a clear indication that motorists have voted with their wallets.
“If this is the case, then it will prove that Gauteng motorists have rejected e-tolling and the costs associated with the collection of debts. Regardless of the result, there is an urgent need for a solution – one way or another – to bring closure to this messy saga which appears to have no end in sight,” the AA says.