E-TOLL DISCOUNT: Road users with outstanding e-tolls have until May 17th to take advantage of a 60% discount, says National Transport Minister, Dipuo Peters. Are you more likely to pay now? Image: iStock
Pretoria - Earlier in May 2016, Wheels24 reported on the Department of Transport and Sanral's decision to extend its 60% e-toll discount period.
According to Sanral: "The decision by the Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters, to extend the deadline on the 60% discount, confirms Sanral's approach to encourage Gauteng road users to settle outstanding e-toll debts."
The reason for the extension? Sanral says many road users could not meet the initial May 2 target date "because of the long-weekend and two public holidays".
'Welcomed by many vehicle owners'
Sanral spokesperson Vusi Mona said: "Our systems are also processing the many last minute settlements and inquiries received prior to the deadline.
“The decision to extend the deadline by an additional ten working days – to May 17 – will be welcomed by the many vehicle owners who still want to clear their accounts and benefit from the 60% discount offer.”
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Mona said the organisation has received "hundreds of thousands of enquiries" since November 2015 regarding the details of the discount and how to apply for it.
Figures on the uptake of the discount offer will be communicated after all the applications have been processed.
How to apply
The new May 17 deadline offers road users further opportunities to settle their outstanding debts or to make arrangements to pay over a period of time. They are encouraged to send an SMS “call back message” to 43360, reach Sanral by e-mail on or visit the www.less60.co.za website and log an enquiry.
Mona said: “There are many road users who have been led up the garden path by our detractors and are now realising that their claims about the legality of the e-toll system are as wrong as the miserable quality of their research.”
READ: E-toll price increases: Angry users respond
Mona welcomed the clarity by the National Consumer Commission which has warned that motorists will not necessarily avoid prosecution for unpaid e-toll accounts after the Freedom Front Plus submitted a complaint against Sanral with the NCC.
The Commission said Sanral can continue to hand out subpoenas as the matter is not under investigation.
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) believes Sanral has mislead the public regarding e-toll compliance and uptake in SA.
Outa said: "Sanral is on record in the past, of providing grossly misleading information with regards to e-toll compliance and uptake. If their history is anything to go by, we believe their claims are nothing short of trying to put lipstick on a pig and trying to talk a good story, when in reality the compliance levels remain poor.
"What Sanral needs to tell the public, is how much of the R5.9-billion discounted and ring fenced debt to September 2015, was collected through this offer."
Wayne Duvenage, the Chairman of Outa, said: “Anything short of R2.5-billion collected or committed for collection, will still mean the system will have only pushed compliance up to roughly 50%. This in itself will be seen as a significant failure for the user pays scheme. International evidence shows that these schemes fail when compliance drops below 85 to 80%.
"If Sanral uptake of the dispensation was even as high as 500 000 motorists, the compliance will remain significantly below one million. With over 2.5-million motorists using the Gauteng freeway each month, this will mean that more than 1.5-million motorists will have shunned the discount offer, even after the massive marketing and coercion campaign launched by Sanral over the past three months."