DEADLINE DAY: E-toll users have until May 17 2016 to make use of a 60% discount. Image: iStock
Johannesburg - Earlier in 2016, Wheels24 reported that the Department of Transport and South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) extended its 60% discount for Gauteng motorists to pay their historic e-toll accounts.
May 17 marks the end of the discount period in relation to the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP). In May 2015, deputy-president Cyril Ramaphosa announced the 60% reduction as an incentive to get more Gauteng motorists to settle their historic debt with the Sanral.
The offer expired on May 2 2016 but was extended until May 17 by Transport Minister Dipuo Peters.
READ: Sanral - E-toll discount extension will be 'welcomed by many'
The AA said: “Following the announcement of the discounts, and now the subsequent extension, we believe it is an opportune time to assess the success of the e-toll system in so far as motorists who have paid their accounts. These numbers should indicate, once and for all, what the uptake of e-tolls in Gauteng has been, and therefore provide concrete evidence as to what extent it has been accepted or rejected in the province.
Do you agree with the AA's questions below? What other questions do you perhaps have for Sanral to answer? Email us your thoughts and we'll publish them here.
"Since the inception of e-tolling in Gauteng, many numbers have been bandied about regarding the uptake, or lack thereof, by the Gauteng motoring public. By providing clear, and indisputable answers to the above questions, Sanral has the opportunity to prove its assertion that Gauteng motorists have begun paying their debt and are, by extension, beginning to accept the system."
9 questions the AA calls on Sanral to answer:
1 How many of the 4.5 million registered vehicles in Gauteng are making use of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP)?
2 How many of these vehicles have been e-tagged?
3 Of the total vehicles using the GFIP how many have paid, and how many accounts are outstanding?
4 How many motorists have taken up the 60% discount offer, and settled their historic debt with Sanral?
5 How many motorists have taken up the 60% discount offer, and made arrangements to settle their accounts with Sanral?
6 How much money has been collected since the introduction of e-tolling in December 2013?
7 Of the money collected, how much has been retained for the management of the collections and collections infrastructure, and how much of it has gone to servicing Sanral’s road-related debt and road development?
8 How much money does Sanral believe it has lost through non-compliance of e-toll payments?
9 If Sanral intends issuing summonses on all outstanding accounts, as it has indicated it will, how long does it anticipate this process taking to reach its conclusion?
READ: E-toll discount - 'I'll never pay' say 24 000 readers
The AA said should the numbers however prove to remain low at the end of this discount campaign, it will be a clear indication that motorists have voted with their wallets.
“If this is the case, then it will prove, that Gauteng motorists have rejected e-tolling and the costs associated with the collection of debts. Regardless of the result, there is an urgent need for a solution, one way or another, to bring closure to this messy saga which appears to have no end in sight,” the AA concluded.
We asked readers "given a 60% discount, are you more likely to pay your outstanding e-toll debt?" and our homepage poll garnered more than 38 000 responses.
Yes - 2066 votes
No - 10 893 votes
Maybe - 1597 votes
I will never pay - 24 075 votes
Unsurprisingly, the majority of readers (24 075) said that despite Sanral's discount, they would 'never pay' outstanding e-toll debt. Only 2066 respondents said they were likely pay given a 60% discount.
Hilton Caroll: As a retired person I have made little use of toll roads and have paid all invoices received at the discounted rate, however most invoices are received well after the expiry of the discounted amounts, due to postal delays and/or late mailing. So now Sanral has given me a "discount" on amounts due entirely to their inefficiency! No way will I pay even though the amount is relatively low!Thulani Nkomonde: Woo woo woo! A consumer can’t consume what s/he doesn’t like. I am waiting for their 1 000 000 000 extension then will pay in full.
Jamie Ross: I still will not pay even with the 60% fee as they are unable to provide me with any clear photos of my number plate or explain why they claim I went through tollgates despite proving I was nowhere near the highways. The entire scheme is a farce and nothing more than a gravy train slush fund to be used by the elite of our corrupt government.