Gauteng motorists have been offered yet another discount on their e-toll bills, this time a 60% reduction, according to the SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral).
But organisations against the controversial user-pays system have labelled the move by the transport department and Sanral to be a “farce”.
Sanral spokesperson Vusi Mona in a statement yesterday said the latest move was not to be confused with an amnesty, or write-off of bills. “This is not an amnesty or a debt write-off … it is a special discount offered to road users in terms of the new dispensation.”
The new e-toll dispensation announced by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in May is being phased in and changes have been made to the electronic systems to ensure a seamless transition, he added.
“Road users on the Gauteng freeway network are, from November 2, eligible for a 60% reduction of their historic e-toll debt in arrears. The department of transport announced this in Government Gazette 39306. This onceoff discount applies to all unpaid e-tolls levied on GFIP roads from December 3, 2013 up to and including August 31, 2015.
“Among the changes that are already in place are a uniform rate of 30 cents per kilometre for light vehicles and a 50% reduction in the monthly maximum for registered account holders. Road users with outstanding e-toll debt incurred from December 3, 2013, until August 31, 2015 now have six months to settle their accounts, or make payment arrangements.
“They can pay their dues over the counter at all First National Banks, at any FNB ATM or via the internet or EFT.” The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance has said the discount did not “change anything”.
“We always said that applying extortionist and punitive tariffs was never going to be an effective tactic for Sanral to apply in the first place,” its chairperson, Wayne Duvenage, said.
“The majority of the motoring public have rejected the scheme, not because of the tariffs, but because the scheme is unjust and irrational. If the Gauteng motorists were sold on the scheme in the first place, they would have gone out and fitted e-tags to enjoy the discounted rate from the start.