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Outa: Sanral lying about e-numbers?

2013-12-12 06:32

BRIGHT AND SHINY: Gauteng's toll gantries look so festive at night but is there something murky about the e-tag sales numbers? Image: Wheels24

JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng - The SA National Roads Agency Limited is claiming double the number of actual e-tag sales, the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance has claimed.

"Based on a statistically sound sample, Outa's research shows that only 15% of freeway users are tagged and nine percent of vehicles counted off the freeway were tagged," chairman Wayne Duvenage said.

"Obviously it is the freeway-user count that matters but the off-freeway count helps to corroborate our findings."

RESEARCH SAMPLES

Earlier on Wednesday (Dec 11) Sanral spokesman Vusi Mona said 890 388 VLN/e-tags had been committed but Outa's research showed, of a sample of 2098 cars which used the freeway, only 317 had e-tags - about 15%.

Of a sample of 2236 cars which did not use the freeways 212 had e-tags - about 9.5%.

"Given that around one-third of cars in Gauteng did not use the freeway," Duvenhage said, "it was expected the non-freeway figure would be lower."

Applying the sample to the total number of cars which use Gauteng's freeways each month - about 2.3-million - Outa believed the number of e-tags sold was only around 350,000.

"Even if one pushed the e-tag penetration rate to 20% the number in use would be no more than 450 000," Duvenage said. "That's 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 ramps and in shopping-centre car parks," he explained. "There's a new game for your kids while 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.

Tolling of Gauteng highways started last Tuesday (Dec 3 2013) and Mona said it had gone according to plan.

AND ON THE SEVENTH DAY...

Vehicles owners without an e-tag have seven days to pay for the use of a tolled road. After that the transactions were processed and invoices issued.

"The first seven days of toll collection on the Gauteng e-roads have just ended so it is too early to report on the issuing of invoices for those e-toll transactions that have not been paid within seven days.

"However, internal processes have been running smoothly."

He said it should be noted that the legal obligation to pay e-tolls arose from using the tolled roads and passing beneath a toll gantry.

"The legal obligation to pay toll[s] therefore does not arise from an invoice forwarded to a user."

Mona said 42 of the 45 toll gantries were fully operational. The other three could be calibrated only when road work was finished.
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