By Hennie Pretorius, journalist, JustMoney
Wayne Duvenage, chairman of the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) has labelled the e-toll
fiasco ‘South Africa’s biggest tax revolt since our new democracy’ pointing out that to date in excess of one billion rand is estimated to be outstanding with regards to e-toll fees.
Duvenage attributes the ‘tax revolt’ to the “significance of the public defiance campaign against an unjust policy.”
There are several reasons South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) along with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) have delayed prosecuting e-toll ‘offenders’.
Duvenage explained that Sanral and the NPA have come to realise they have a big problem because both have not complied with certain requirements in all cases, which include:
• The regulation stipulates that Sanral MUST provide the road user with an invoice.
• The regulation also stipulates that a user is able to qualify for different tariff structures, if he/she pays within certain time periods.
“Yet Sanral is unable to get the invoice to the users within the time periods prescribed. Nor can they prove it. How then is a judge to convict an individual of a crime if there was no criminal intent? Sanral made it impossible for non-tagged users to comply.”
With less than half of e-toll road users paying, OUTA believes successful prosecution of “defaulters” is highly unlikely. If the NPA was successful in its attempt to prosecute, those found guilty would be liable to settling their e-toll accounts and may be subjected to paying a fine.