South Africa 3.7.2015 10:00 am

Malema calls on SA not to pay e-tolls

FILE PICTURE: Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema. Picture: Neil McCartney

FILE PICTURE: Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema. Picture: Neil McCartney

Gauteng motorists will be charged lower rates for e-tolls as of midnight yesterday.

But according to political parties and organisations opposed to e-tolls, this was just another “defunct” scheme by the SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral), to relaunch the controversial e-tolling scheme.

Economic Freedom Front leader Julius Malema was the latest to hit back against the controversial users pay system.

“These are public roads they, should not be privatised,” Malema told reporters yesterday. “Unjustifiable laws should not be complied with … we call upon our people not to pay (for) e-tolls.” Malema was of the view tarrifs would increase in six months and if motorists registered “there is no turning back”.

The new tariffs and monthly caps for registered users were gazetted on June 17 and are the first part of the new dispensation announced by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in late May.

“Government listened to the concerns of lower and middle income communities about the impact of transport costs on their budgets, and responded by reducing the tariffs,” Sanral spokesperson Vusi Mona said.

Over 18 months, the monthly cap for registered light vehicles is now R225 – down by 50% from the R450. Existing Sanral account holders can continue managing their accounts as usual.

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) said, however, the “irrationality and unlawfulness of the e-toll decision still hangs over the e-tolls scheme’s head”.

And this will be tested if and when the authorities “ever attempt to prosecute anyone for non-payment of e-tolls”.

“Despite being given the go-ahead to launch e-tolls as far back as September 2012 … Sanral was unable to do so, largely because they still had not addressed the workability of the scheme, along with a suitable regulatory environment for the scheme to succeed,” Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage said.

He dubbed the “new dispensation” as a “new desperation” and charged that it would inevitably fail again.

– yadhanaj@citizen.co.za

 

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