The South African Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) has finally admitted that due to non-compliance, the system of e-Tolling that it implemented in Gauteng has not successfully generated the revenue it needs to upgrade road networks, and in future, will have to look to alternative models of funding.
Since the inception of e-Tolls on Gauteng’s roads, the DA has strongly condemned the double taxation of motorists and the knock-on effect that this has had on the province’s economy.
A nominal, ring-fenced fuel levy should have been introduced to collect monies owed to pay back the bonds SANRAL raised to complete the first phase of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project. However, likely suspicious practises saw the introduction of a convoluted e-Toll collection system, which gave rise to astronomical collection fees to collect monies owed by motorists, all of which make their way offshore.
Instead of innovating and thinking out the box, SANRAL will waste more money – which could be pumped back into this project as well as future road projects, to seek legal action against motorists who refuse to pay for a system which they simply cannot afford.
SANRAL has based its legal argument on a default judgement where the defendant failed to appear in court to defend themselves. However, once legal proceedings get underway, it is highly likely that those who have been summoned by SANRAL will defend themselves in court and that these cases will be thrown out.
SANRAL should look to more long-term, sustainable solutions to fund roads that it intends to build as it is clearly evident that e-Tolls are not only unjust but unsustainable.
The DA will continue to fight against e-Tolls and support organisations like OUTA who have pledged to defend motorists in court.
Fred Nel MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Roads and Transport
083 263 2427
073 601 6144
The Democratic Alliance has noted the default judgement awarded in favour of the South African Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) and continues to encourage motorists to not be pressurised by SANRAL to purchase an e-tag.
Despite claims by SANRAL, this judgement does not set a precedent against motorists who have refused to pay e-Toll fees.
The current judgement was made against a company in liquidation which had chosen not to defend itself in court.
If a case were brought before the courts, where a defendant sought legal counsel, it is probable that a court would not rule in favour of SANRAL.
The DA encourages motorists to join the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA), who have offered legal assistance to motorists who may be issued summons by SANRAL.
The DA continues to reject the taxation of the provinces freeways which has had a negative impact on the provincial economy.
The South African Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) has wasted even more tax payer’s money by issuing the so-called ‘Tolling Newsletter” which perpetuates the propaganda it wishes the public to believe.
The half-truths contained in the publication are fooling no-one despite it being designed to mislead.
A classic example where SANRAL asks itself “if tolls are not just another tax”, and replies by stating that it is not a tax because you have a choice in the matter.
You have a choice to earn less and not pay income tax, similarly you have a choice not to buy goods and avoid VAT but these are still taxes and so are tolls.
In certain areas one’s right to travel freely is curtailed because SANRAL persuaded government that alternate roads are unnecessary and the only road available is tolled.
SANRAL makes much about most of its roads being untolled, but this is because the collection costs on low traffic volumes are prohibitive. Any road that is well travelled is tolled or planned to be tolled. Once construction costs are recouped it becomes a source of income as any profit after maintenance is paid to concessionaires.
In the case of e-tolls this profit disappears offshore.
The reason why e-tolls were sneaked onto Gauteng motorists is because the very high volumes will ensure high revenue if the public are gullible enough to pay. Kwa-Zulu Natal refused point blank to accept e-tolls and the Western Cape challenged e-tolls in court and won.
We Will Not Pay
Why do motorists in these provinces enjoy SANRAL services paid for by taxes while Gauteng, who contributes by far the most tax to the fiscus, must pay income tax and e-tolls. It’s simply unfair.
It is most disconcerting to be paying for SANRAL’s expensive and misleading pamphlets. The agency has proved time after time that they promote half-truths and downright lies in order to try and con the Gauteng public into paying these unjust taxes.
It’s time for SANRAL to wake up and smell the roses – we will not pay.
Dr Neil Campbell MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Roads and Transport
082 387 2540