The South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) has encouraged road users to register for an e-tag, saying this allows drivers to pay 5.6 times less than non-registered road users.
According to SANRAL, motorists concerned about the financial impact of e-tolling on Gauteng roads should ensure they are registered for an e-tag – which is not a legal requirement – as this comes with significant discounted rates compared to those incurred by unregistered drivers who do not pay fees within the seven day deadline.
SANRAL said its statement comes in response to the reports from debt management firms saying the number of people seeking debt counselling has spiked.
“Responsible debt management firms must advocate that these individuals register for an e-tag in order to ensure they incur the lowest cost possible should they wish to continue to use the network. This not only enables discounts and easy management portals but ensures that the already financially stressed consumer acts responsibly,” said Vusi Mona, spokesperson for SANRAL.
“The responsible thing for any debt counsellor to do is to advise consumers seeking debt review to register for e-toll. Encouraging them not to pay e-tolls within the required time does exactly the opposite as it will lead to the loss of built-in discounts.”
Mona also called upon civil organisations to desist in encouraging disobedience campaigns, saying that failure to pay the requisite fees will only result in the highest rates being charged as well as the potential of prosecution.
“These organisations call on members of the public not to register for e-toll but then simply put up their hands when the public receive invoices which have not been discounted,” said Mona.
“Registering for an e-tag, while not a legal prerequisite, makes sense if road users wish to qualify for discounted e-toll rates. It is the most frugal thing to do other than using public transport and limiting their use of the Gauteng rod network.”
Mona added that the National Credit Act does not allow for debt relief from e-tolling.
HumanIPO reported last week SANRAL revealed almost one million road users have signed up for e-tags to date, though these numbers have been questioned by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA).
E-tolling is set for a further court challenge, after the Democratic Alliance (DA) confirmed the date for its case challenging the passing of the controversial e-tolling bill as March 4, referring to the legislature as “unconstitutional” and a form of “job-killing taxation”.
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