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November 8th, 2017 by

The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) announced this week that they will be scrapping R3.6 billion worth of E-Toll debt.

Yes, this is yet another one of the government’s failed attempts at controlling their citizens. These debts are a result of mass social protest against e-Tolls on roads around South Africa.

Sanral stated that this debt has been collecting over the course of three years. At the end of this financial year, the company explained that any debt owed to them will be scrapped.

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But How Does This Work? 

Over the years, the E-Toll system has been a subject of contention among many South Africans. Many of them have been completely against the implementation, however E-Tolls went ahead. As of 2014, 19% of all national roads were made into toll roads.

The E-Toll system was founded in order to fund the R20 billion Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project. This highway was completed in 2011 “to free up a lot of congestion on Johannesburg roads”.

According to Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse(Outa), four out of five motorists don’t pay their E-toll bills.

In a previous interview, Outa’s Wayne Duvenage expressed his concern about the current state of the E-Toll system.

“The scheme was well resisted by the public. I think what they’ve done is now written off a substantive amount and they’re bringing down the outstanding debt with the realisation that in time this scheme is not going to work. So I think they’re going to take a couple of years to try and write off the remainder of the debt.”

Have you received a E-Toll summons? Here is what you need to look out for!

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Why Has It Failed? 

With so many South Africans refusing to pay their outstanding E-Toll debt, Duvenage believes that Sanral is headed for failure.

“We believe they’ve written down the punitive tolls down to normal e-tag toll rates and they’ve kept it for the three years and then they ignored all those under R500. That is the first chance of cleaning out, but it is a realisation and acknowledgement that all the charges that we have been charging the public out there are not collectable, we need to start removing it from our books.”

In the past year, Sanral has collected R1.85 billion in E-Tolls from drivers, however this is not enough.

According to the Sanral Act of 1998, criminal procedures may be taken against E-Toll defaulters who haven’t settled their bills.

Outa believes that although the Sanral Act may allow for criminal procedures, this will be more of a nightmare than anything else.

In spite of Sanral’s aim to prosecute people with unpaid bills, any debt older than three years is not considered. This will make it even more difficult for Sanral to find out who hasn’t paid their recent E-Tolls.

Goodbye Sanral

Last week, Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba announced that Sanral’s borrowing has increased in the last two years by R10 billion.

The increase provided enough financial backing to cover 1400km of new roads over the two year period. There is approximately 24 637km of road in the country, and of that, 87% are non-toll roads.

Outa has expressed that over 80% of E-Toll users refuse or just haven’t payed their E-Toll bills. Sanral’s latest report however, shows that their toll revenue is up by 6% to R4.9 billion. In addition to this, the government provided the company with a grant of R8.6 billion. This puts their total revenue at R13.9 billion.

Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi announced that the department, along with Sanral is looking into E-Toll alternatives.

Will E-Tolls soon be a thing of the past? We sure hope so!

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  • Ashley Crookes

    Great. So can those of us who did pay get a refund please???!!! Frikkin useless morons.

    • alexia

      No body can say they were not warned. If everyone joined in the mass protest of this illegal system from the beginning it would never have taken so long to get to this.

      • Rusty

        INDEED, shame on those who are always intimidated by the FAT CATS

        • alexia

          All I can say, is thank you to OUTA and for taking this up on behalf of the millions who stood up to their constitutional rights. Those who are going to lose all their money because of their arrogance, I say just can be seen, we have not even been summoned. And even if we were, a simple monthly contribution to OUTA was all it took.

    • Norman Cummins

      Why would you pay your tax, fuel levy and vehicle licenses and then still pay a fourth time to drive on a 30 year old road network built by the “apartheid regime”?

      • Ashley Crookes

        Um, so, when you drive through a regular “non e-toll” gate, do you just ignore the person sitting there collecting your money and continue driving through the boom? No, I don’t think so. So why is it so much different just because this is unmanned? Sure the road might be 30 years old, but it is still being maintained (to a degree) so therefore it is a good argument to have extra funds in the form of etolls. I just didn’t want to be part of a problem is all. And if everyone in the country continues to ignore the systems and laws we (government) have put in place then where will we really be one day? A pretty lawless country, which is exactly where we are now. I don’t like etolls one bit, but I like the thought of landing up with hefty fines or jail even more.

        • Rusty

          I wish to remind you this is already a full blown lawless country where the criminals and the fraudsters and the takers and the Government have made it so. Will it be better if we all went to dance like a big fat gorilla and toy-toying to get our way, should be like most burn down and wreak everything, I think not so we just refuse to pay. and if you joined OUTA you dont have to be afraid of going to jail. .

          • alexia

            And of course contributing to a corrupt government will make things easier Ashley? Contribute to the corrupt to make is less corrupt?

        • Norman Cummins

          Actually I avoid using the GFIP and use the alternate routes. I do the same when travelling from, for instance, Joburg to Bloem or Joburg to Durban. If it takes me 20 minutes time extra to visit a customer in Pretoria so what?

          • Ashley Crookes

            Unfortunately not everyone knows the alternate routes, and some of those routes have pretty shocking roads, there again, toll routes make more sense unless one prefers to spend a small sum on new tyres and shocks. There’s always a pro and a con.

      • Rusty

        Well said

    • Rusty

      Why did you pay, if those who paid simply also refused there would be no e-toll today.

  • Scion

    The treasury has been looted, these politicians are squeezing so hard all that’s left is blood from the udders of this country.

  • Greg

    “Aluta continua” is probably interpreted by those who cannot read and count as “the looting continues”

  • Rusty

    What a bunch of thieves, they have empty every coffer they took over from the Nats, which was well run and full of funds, now empty. and they will think up anything under the sun to squeeze the last drop of blood out of the citizens to keep riding the gravy train. I REFUSE TO PAY. and those idiots who did, shame on you or the E-toll would have been scrapped yonks ago . How sneaky to wait and not get a vote on it but jumped it on us. Sick to death of all the ways they think up, as if we are not now over burdened with all we need to pay just to survive. . Next thing you will be taxed if a bird sits on your roof.