The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance says the SA National Roads Agency Limited is inflating its e-tag sales figures to more than double what they really are.
Alliance chairman Wayne Duvenage said on Wednesday: “Based on a statistically sound sample size, Outa's research shows that only 15 percent of freeway users are tagged and nine percent of vehicles counted off the freeway were tagged.
“Obviously, it’s the freeway-user count that matters in this exercise, but the off-freeway count helps to corroborate our findings.”
Earlier in the day, Sanral spokesman Vusi Mona said: “Currently 890 388 VLN/e-tags have been committed.”
Let’s put that in perspective.
Outa's research showed that only 317 of a sample of 2098 cars on the freeway - about 15.1 percent - had tags and, of a sample of 2236 cars which did not use the freeways, 212, or about 9.5 percent, had e-tags.
Duvenage said it was expected the non-freeway figure would be lower, given that around one third of cars in Gauteng did not use the freeway.
Applying the sampled percentage to the estimated 2.3 million cars that used Gauteng's freeways each month, Outa believed the number of e-tags sold was only about 350 000.
“Even if you push the e-tag penetration rate to 20 percent, the number of e-tags in use will be no more than 450 000,” Duvenage said.
“Which is around half the number of tags sales recently espoused by Sanral.”
He encouraged the public to do e-tag counts themselves if they did not take Outa's word for it.
“E-tags are easy to see, especially at traffic lights on freeway off and on-ramps and in car parks of shopping centres,” Duvenage said.
“This Christmas, there is a new game for your kids whilst travelling around Gauteng - spot the e-tag.”
Outa called on Sanral to come clean and provide the actual e-tag count passing under the toll gantries.
The e-tolling of Gauteng highways started on Tuesday 3 December.
Mona said the implementation of e-tolling had gone according to plan.
Motorists without an e-tag had seven days to pay for the use of the tolled roads in Gauteng. After the seven-day period, the transactions were processed and invoices issued.
“The first seven days of toll collection on the Gauteng e-roads only came to an end last night,” Mona said, “so it’s too early to report on the issuing of invoices for those e-toll transactions that have not been paid within seven days.
“However, so far the internal processes have been running smoothly.”
USER SHOULD PAY
He said it should be noted that the legal obligation to pay e-tolls arose from using the tolled roads and passing underneath a toll gantry.
“The legal obligation to pay toll therefore does not arise from an invoice that is forwarded to a user,” he said.
In terms of regulations, the user had a seven-day grace period to pay the toll.
Mona said 42 of the 45 toll gantries were fully operational.
“The last three gantries will become operational shortly,” he said.
Equipment on these three gantries could be fitted and calibrated only once the construction of the road had been completed. - Sapa