The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) notes with interest the recently gazetted notice of an “extension of grace period discounts” and advises “alternate users” of Gauteng freeway to think carefully before they are seduced by the apparent lenience.
John Clarke, OUTA’s spokesperson says “This is simply a part of their strategy to coax road users who have not signed Sanral’s onerous terms and conditions into their net, in order to solve the dire long term financial problems that Sanral now faces for having embarked on e-tolling without obtaining comprehensive public endorsement from all sectors of society.”
The notice in the Government Gazette states that alternate road users who have outstanding e-toll bills for the period between 3rd December 2013 (when e-tolling commenced) through to 28 February 2014, and who were facing the prospect of exhorbitant alternate tariffs, will only be charged the standard tariff, on condition that they register with Sanral and settle the outstanding account before 30 June 2014.
OUTA Chair Wayne Duvenage said OUTA predicted that Sanral would re-commence its ‘hook, crook and spook’ tactics as soon as the elections were over and believe this enticing offer will be shortly followed by a summons case or two against non-payers, to scare the public into compliance. “Sanral is desperate to get the over 1,3 million non-compliant freeways users to play on their turf by signing their terms and conditions. However, until there is a dramatic change in Sanral’s general attitude to the public and its critics and a reassessment of this debacle with the stakeholders, the authorities will be hard pressed to convince the self-respecting road users to capitulate to these manipulative methods. Sanral have lost the trust and support of the public, which essentially makes this e-tolling scheme unsustainable and unacceptable.”
OUTA continues to provide a “dispute your e-toll bill” facility on the OUTA website for road users to hold Sanral to account for the erroneous billing processes and to comply with standard business practice before paying invoices, despite Sanral’s behaviour to fob off complaints raised through this confidential portal.