OUTA has regularly indicated that SANRAL fails to disclose, in detail, how they intend prosecuting the non-payment of eTolls in Gauteng. A media report on Monday quoting SANRAL’s spokesperson, Vusi Mona, as highlighting several aspects of a designed enforcement process but which remains devoid of detail. Responding further to the media report, the Justice Project South Africa was also quick to point out the likely collapse of the criminal justice system should it have to consider the millions of unpaid eToll transactions that will need to be prosecuted given the overwhelming rejection of eTolling by all sectors of society.
OUTA’s chairperson, Wayne Duvenage, repeats the call for SANRAL “to provide citizens with far more detail on the proposed enforcement process. SANRAL have provided no clarity what an eToll offence is? Is it the non-payment of one eToll transaction or several rolled up into weekly or monthly invoices? Will prosecution (however that is to be defined by SANRAL) take place when the outstanding value of unpaid eTolls reaches R50, R100 or R200? What are the timelines and actions involved if one doesn’t pay within seven days?
More concerning is SANRAL’s unsuccessful attempts to win the hearts and minds of the GFIP road user, by making statements of intimidation tactics by suggesting ‘on-the-spot’ law enforcement by their special Sanral Police force who will prowl the highways for ‘refuseniks’ and relying on eNatis which is fraught with inaccurate information. A clear definition for the term ‘refusenik’ will also be most welcome. “There is no doubt that innocent people will be caught in the ‘refusenik crossfire’ and one can only imagine the flood of lawsuits filed against SANRAL for any wrongful intimidation and waste of road user’s time”, says Duvenage. These hard arm tactics will more than likely succeed in driving a bigger wedge between Government and its citizens.
Given this context, OUTA remains astonished that SANRAL can justify their spending of millions of tax payer’s money on a failed media campaign, which appears in fact, to have lost them sales as opposed to driven them up. Sanral’s recent statement reflects their eTag sales have now reduced to 500,000 from the reported 600,000 tags sold by June this year. But then again, their claimed number of eTag sales has fluctuated wildly a number of occassions over the past year, to such an extent that people have questioned the integrity of Sanral’s claims. Any normal organisation, without the benefit of funds from taxpayer, could never afford such self-indulgent egotistical advertising, which is being denounced by many as misleading.