The company that manages e-tolls on behalf of Sanral believes writing off the debt will bring delinquent Gauteng road users on board, Centurion Rekord reports.
Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) has proposed writing off part of the debt for each year of compliance until all historical debt is forgiven.
“This would essentially mean that for every year of compliance, Sanral would write off 20% of historical debt,” it said in a statement.
“After five years, a newly compliant road user would be debt-free.”
“The company believes that the future of e-tolls lies in providing Gauteng drivers with an affordable way of paying back debt with a quid pro quo option for compliant road users.”
“This would leave room for Sanral to restructure its balance sheet and a way for road users to become compliant without fear of legal summons.”
Earlier this month, Gauteng premier David Makhura once again reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to doing away with the road tolling system.
Following an “extremely unfortunate and deeply regrettable” social media exchange between Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, President Cyril Ramaphosa established a task team to find a viable solution to e-tolls.
The team has resolved to provide a solution by next month.
However, ETC believes scrapping the system won’t affect the legitimate debt Sanral still has to pay for the cost of improving the Gauteng freeway network.
“While the network comprised an initial investment of R25 billion, this has subsequently ballooned to R47 billion in lieu of the low compliance rate of Gauteng road users to pay their e-tolls,” ETC said.
“Scrapping the e-tolling system would immediately require the settling of this enlarged bill.”
The company said “yet another government bailout” would mean taxpayers’ money was taken away from other pressing social needs to fund Gauteng roads.