Pay e-tolls or your licence discs won’t be renewed, warns Sanral
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Johannesburg - A row over e-tolls has erupted once again, this time following a notice by the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) that motorists won’t get their licence discs renewed until they pay up.
An outcry played out on social media on Monday over why the e-tolling system was still in place.
Organisations lashed out at the government for keeping the controversial system that most road users have rejected.
In a notice published on its website, Sanral stated: “The non-payment of toll may result in road users not being issued with their vehicle licence disc, upon renewal of the vehicle licence.
“Road users will be able to renew their licences, but the disc itself will be withheld until the outstanding toll-related infringements have been settled.”
The ANC-aligned South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) was one of the groups that lashed out at Sanral.
It said the blocking of licence renewals would be “a sign of declaring a war against Sanco, its members and the entire Gauteng community”.
“All motorists must be allowed to renew their licences without being subjected to pay e-tolls that were imposed (on) the people,” said the organisation’s Gauteng chairperson, Chris Malematja.
“We are rejecting them and no one, including Sanral, must try to force residents of this province to pay.
“People are resolute (in) the rejection of the imposed e-tolls. They are ready to fight by all means necessary against Sanral and its silly tricks that seek to block motorists from renewing their licences.”
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) labelled Sanral’s move as a bluff.
Wayne Duvenage, its chief executive, said an outstanding e-toll bill could not block licence renewal as it was not a traffic enforcement order.
“Outa would like to point out that this is incorrect,” said Duvenage. “Only infringements and notices that have become enforcement orders through unpaid traffic fines will enable the authorities to withhold the renewal of your vehicle licences.
“So please, for now, let’s just dispel this myth.”
Duvenage pointed out that the government was aiming to render the non-payment of e-tolls an enforcement order through the
Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto).
“Within those (Aarto) laws, they have tried to bring in unpaid e-toll bills as a traffic infringement,” he said.
“That’s the way they want to go around forcing the public to pay their e-toll bills. It’s never going to happen. That will be challenged.
“There’s an outstanding legal challenge against the e-toll matter anyway, which Sanral by the way pulled the plug on over two years ago,” Duvenage said.
Howard Dembovsky, chairperson of Justice Project SA, said Sanral’s notice indicated that the government had no intention to scrap e-tolls.
“It would rather risk triggering a vehicle licensing fees revolt than to admit that it was wrong in contriving this diabolical and convoluted scheme,” he said.