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
Johannesburg - The Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters, has granted an additional 10 working days extension for road users to "take advantage" of the 60% e-toll discount in May 2016.
The discount period will now end on May 17.
The reason for the extension? "There was a last minute rush leading up to May 2 - the date on which the 60% discount expired - leaving thousands of road users outside the window period," reports the Transport Department.
Forced to grant an extension
Figures from Sanral indicate that it received 37 000 inquiries from road users regarding the 60% discount offer.
According to the department: "Taking into account that the deadline fell within a long weekend during which normal business activities were restricted and that the last minute demand exceeded available processing capacity, Minister Peters decided to extend the deadline."
"The Minister encourages all those who could not take up the 60% discount to do so in the next few days. Road users are urged to log their intent to pay, by e-mail, sms "call back" to 43360, or visit www.less60.co.za and log an enquiry."
Given Sanral's extended 60% e-toll discount, are you more likely to pay outstanding debt? Share your thoughts
The department said: "Road users are cautioned that should they not honour this intent to pay, the discount will be forfeited. Motorists have two options: to settle the debt by May 17, or make an arrangement to pay over a period.
"Minister Peters thanks road users for their response to the less 60% discount offer. Those who still want to log their intention to pay must do so soonest and not wait until the last minute."
Cecil Beukes: "I do not support crime. I will never pay." Katya Coetzee said: "These are great roads, they are able to help you when your car has a problem because the road is monitored, and more.
"Since getting my e-tag (and I use the road all the way from Joburg to the other side of Pretoria (and back) every Monday) I only pay like R15 a month."
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."