OUTA believes that SANRAL’s proposals to the Parliamentary Committee on Transport on Tuesday 16th October, about the various ways they intend to force motorists to pay their outstanding e-toll bills, are nothing short of desperate threats that will be extremely difficult to implement.
For SANRAL to suggest that motorists’ vehicle licenses will be withheld because of e-toll debt, is ludicrous and illegal. Should they attempt to go down this road, OUTA will engage with its legal advisors and the public to challenge these developments. The impact of using coercive tactics such as blocking vehicle relicensing or vehicle sales in order to force the payment of e-tolls, will have negative unintended consequences. It will drag the already cash-strapped municipalities into the e-toll fight. It will impact negatively on local government’s revenue streams and policing processes.
In addition to this, SANRAL has hinted at farfetched plans to have SARS act as their collection agents. This will be extremely difficult for them to do both legally and practically, adding further complexity to SARS’s collection woes. This is the last thing that SARS needs on their hands and will add significant legal challenges for them to do so.
“We find it remarkable that SANRAL even mentions the threat of dragging insurance companies into their fight, by suggesting that insurance companies should not insure vehicles with outstanding e-toll bills,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s CEO. “This will be virtually impossible to introduce and OUTA will challenge this legally as well as wage a consumer movement to boycott insurance companies who seek to introduce such ludicrous practices and policies into their contracts with motorists.” When the issue of the impact of unpaid e-tolls and unlicensed vehicles on vehicle insurance claims was raised several years ago, OUTA engaged with insurance companies on this matter and confirmed that these issues do not have any negative impact or consequences on motorists vehicle insurance conditions.”
These statements made by SANRAL CEO, Mr Skhumbuzo Macozoma is an attempt to resuscitate a dead horse. SANRAL is currently in a litigation war with motorists and OUTA is defending over 1,100 motorists who have chosen to have their e-toll default summonses defended. The test case between SANRAL and OUTA’s supporters should to be heard before any of these new threats by SANRAL can be contemplated or attempts to introduce legislation to regulate such drastic measures.
SANRAL’s comments and conduct is a clear indication that Government intends to remain adversarial against society on a grossly irrational scheme that has been introduced against the will of the public. This is a war they will never win in the long run and civil society will not take their threats lightly.
OUTA now calls on the last remaining people and businesses who make up the 25% of Gauteng Freeway users who continue to keep the e-toll system on life support to stop paying. The handful of companies (mainly large corporate entities) who appear to be afraid to cross swords with Government are the main reason that the e-toll scheme continues to limp along, with approximately R60 million income per month that is barely managing to cover the collection process.
If and when a few more of these large corporate entities exercise moral courage to join the rest of society, Government will have no choice but to cancel the scheme. If these companies have concerns, they can call OUTA and we will explain their rights