The Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) has announced that e-toll tariffs are to increase by almost five percent from 1 March.
In addition, Electronic Toll Collections (Pty) Ltd (ETC) has released a statement clarifying the legality of the collection of outstanding e-toll debt, as well as stressing the need to compliance.
This follows claims by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) that an SMS campaign by SANRAL (South African Road Agency Limited) to collect funds was illegal. ETC has been tasked with collecting the outstanding e-toll funds.
The AA provided the below table as an illustration of the price increases:
|Tollgate||Current fee||New fee||Increase||Increase percentage|
The average increase for the e-toll fares is 4.69% and they were announced on Tuesday 15 February in the Government Gazette (#39695). However, SANRAL reportedly did not take any steps to make motorists aware of the impending increase.
“No mention of any adjustments to the capped limit for tagged users is made in the Government Gazette.
“These increases to the toll rates come barely six months after the tariffs were reduced as a result of a public outcry, and discounts of up to 60% were offered on outstanding balances before September 2015,” stated the AA.
The need to pay your e-tolls
Despite campaigns by SANRAL and the announcement of a 60% discount on outstanding e-toll debt balances before September 2015, many motorists are still not paying their e-toll bills. ETC has come out stressing the importance of paying your e-toll bills and emphasised that it is a legal process.
Mark Ridgway, chief operating officer at ETC, said: “The ongoing assumption that collection activity surrounding the New Dispensation is illegal is patently misguided. Payment of e-tolls is a legal requirement and any delinquency in this regard will be met with consequences. It is SANRAL’s intention to pursue non-payers and to collect outstanding public monies due. In this vein civil legal collection action is being prepared and SANRAL intends to follow through on its communicated consequence for non-payment.”
Ridgway explained that collection activity against non-compliant road users will intensify, including the listing of vehicles and legal action.
“Road users must be aware that any inaction based on a wait-and-see attitude or a belief that e-tolls owing will magically disappear, is misguided and that non-payment will result in loss of one-off 60% discount on historical debt outstanding and potential of additional legal fees being incurred,” added Ridgway.
“It is the duty of every citizen to uphold the law and to ensure that his or her compliance is not selective. Non-payment of tolls is illegal. Road users are invited to ensure that they comply with legislation, take advantage of the limited discount offer and are not mislead by what they read as propounded by the uninformed.”