News 31.12.2013 12:00 am

E-toll threats alarm drivers

FILE PICTURE: Motorists pass through a toll gantry. Picture: Michel Bega

FILE PICTURE: Motorists pass through a toll gantry. Picture: Michel Bega

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) says it has received numerous messages from motorists alarmed by calls from the SA National Roads Agency’s (Sanral) Violations Processing Centre (VPC) demanding payment.

Mobile phone numbers obtained through other databases are being used to contact motorists who have opted not to get e-tags or contract with the Electronic Tolling Company (ETC), said Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage. “These motorists are being coerced and intimidated to immediately pay outstanding e-toll fees or be handed over for debt

collection.”

This behaviour confirmed the dismal number of e-tag sales and was aimed at “herding in those motorists and companies who have not been tagged,” he said.

“We are advising motorists not to allow the anxiety within ETC to be projected onto them, to stand their ground and insist that Sanral sticks to its original commitment to the public to handle non-registered e-toll road users by means of normal business practice.

“This means the issuance of a tax invoice and the necessary details of evidence of the correct vehicle passing under the various gantries.”

Duvenage added that “hundreds of people who make contact with Outa through the social media platforms have vowed in principle not to pay any e-toll fees, as they are sincerely disgusted with the entire debacle, the high costs, the lack of transparency and the irrationality of the system”.

All indications were that Gauteng motorists remained defiant against the widely despised system, he said.

“One month after the big e-toll ‘switch on’ and society has witnessed a broad-based people’s defiance campaign that many did not envisage possible. The extent of the rejection of e-tolls by Gauteng road users is not only in the 80 to 85% of freeway users refusing to purchase e-tags, but also in the clear signs of an estimated 1.5 million road users who will probably not pay their e-toll bills.”

These were all signs of a very successful civil action and defiance campaign, which is “the largest in our new democracy”, he said. “It is a campaign driven by the denouncement of e-tolling from all sectors of society: labour, churches, business and civil society at large.” – Staff reporter.

 

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