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E-toll changes could force people to pay

By Staff Writer
At a media briefing on Wednesday (20 May 2015), deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa announced changes to the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) e-tolling systems in Gauteng.
 
One of the changes that is due to be implemented is that the e-toll system will be linked to vehicle licence renewals. This means that outstanding e-toll fees will need to be paid before a motorist can receive their new car licence disc.
 
“To further simplify the process and [to] ensure better integration of the road management systems, motorists will need to settle any outstanding e-toll fees before the vehicle licence discs are issued,” revealed Ramaphosa.
 
However, Dipuo Peters, Minister of Transport, who was also at the press briefing, noted that there are legal requirements that will need to be addressed before linking e-toll accounts to licence disc renewals will be possible
 
Ramaphosa noted that the current e-tolling system placed a “disproportionate burden” on low and middle income households. Following an inquiry by the E-Toll Review Panel, a number of recommendations were made, which have led to the changes.
 
“Improvements” to the e-tolling system
 
Public transport, such as buses and taxis, with the appropriate and necessary operating permits will remain exempt from paying e-tolls tariffs. Motorists who pass under the gantries less than 30 times per year (infrequent users) will also be exempt from paying e-toll fees. However, if you exceed 30 gantry passes, you will be liable for the usual charges.
 
A new “single reduced tariff will be applied to all motorists” within a vehicle category. This means that a light motor vehicles will be liable for the same tariff, regardless of if they have an e-tag or not.
 
Ramaphosa gave the example that the current standard tariff of 58 cents per kilometre for light motor vehicles will be reduced to 30 cents per kilometre.
 
The monthly cap on tariffs has also been reduced. For light motor vehicles, the monthly cap has been reduced from R450 per month to R225 per month. Ramaphosa noted that revised caps will also be introduced for the other vehicle categories, such as trucks and other heavy vehicles.
 
“E-toll fees that are currently outstanding will be discounted by 60%. Users will have six months within to settle their debt, dating back to December 2013, at the discounted tariff,” highlighted Ramaphosa.
 
A new monthly cap for people in arrears on their e-toll accounts will also be implemented. Ramaphosa announced: “All users who do not pay tolls within the required 30 days will be obliged to pay double the toll tariff. To protect users from incurring high amounts of debt, this will be capped. In the case of light motor vehicles, for example, the monthly cap for accounts in arrears will be R450.”
 
Lastly, to make to process easier for all, Ramaphosa said that there will be more payment options for motorists.
 
Motorists will, in future, be able to pay their e-toll fees at a number of retailers, at SANRAL kiosks around Johannesburg, at provincial licencing offices, at the Post Office, at various vehicle dealerships, and online.
 
Ramaphosa highlighted that the new dispensations will be implemented in phases, with the new tariff caps and revised tariff fees hopefully being implemented in the next two to three months. “There will be regular updates as the new toll system is developed.”

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