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Johannesburg - Pay up, register, and you can get a discount.
Sanral is so desperate for recalcitrant Gauteng motorists to pay their outstanding e-toll bills that it’s offering a discount to those who pay before the end of next month – and register as e-toll users.
On Monday, the Department of Transport gazetted a notice granting an extension for certain late payments.
The notice followed Sanral’s recommendation.
The notice says Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project users who were charged the “alternate” toll tariffs for invoices from December 3, 2013 to February 28 inclusive will be allowed to pay the “standard” tariff on those bills instead, “provided they settle their outstanding account and register by 30 June 2014”.
Wayne Duvenage, the chairman of the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance, isn’t surprised by the move.
DANGLING A CARROT
“We were expecting something like this. These are the carrots they are throwing at the public,” he said.
Duvenage expects some motorists will take up the offer, but not many, and emphasised that opposition to the project would continue.
“The public at large know that the system is wrong, it’s inefficient.”
The best discounts on e-tolls are for those who are both registered with Sanral as e-toll users and have an e-tag.
For example, a registered e-tag user in a car would be charged R3 to go through the Barbet toll gantry, while the “standard tariff” (for non-registered users with e-tags and registered users without e-tags) is R5.80, but the tariff for “alternate users” is R17.40.
“Alternate users” are those who are not registered with Sanral and do not have e-tags.
The alternate users who pay within a 30-day “grace period” get a 60 percent discount, and those who pay between 30 and 60 days get a 30 percent discount.
It’s those grace periods that are now being extended, in an attempt to get people to pay. Monday’s notice effectively extends the grace periods to June 30.
LARGE SUM OWED
Yesterday, Sanral spokes-man Vusi Mona said the agency was owed R543 million as at February 28.
“That is the figure we were sitting with in the violations processing centre.
“It is, therefore, three times the normal tariff as it includes the cost of collection.
“The current figure is currently being audited by the Auditor-General and we are, therefore, not in a position to disclose it as yet.”
He said the latest discount was meant to assist road users to get up to date “by bringing them back to the standard tariff, provided they register for an e-toll account and pay what is outstanding” for the period from December 3 last year until February.
In April, Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters told Parliament that by the end of February, Sanral had handed over e-toll debts totalling R543.5m to its violations processing centre – and that R50m of that had been paid.
She said some 10 percent, R54.7m (excl VAT), had been expended in collection of the debt, including R32.8m for printing of invoices and postage.