TEDIOUS PROCESS: Disability-friendly vehicles are exempt from e-toll fees. If only the application process wasn't tedious... Image: iStock
Cape Town - E-tolls continue to frustrate many South Africans.
In an attempt to find favour, the minister of transport, Dipuo Peters, announced in August 2016 that disabled drivers and disabled-friendly vehicles are exempt from paying e-toll fees.
Exempting health vehicles
According to a government gazette, Class A2 vehicles do not need to pay any fees. These vehicles are light motor vehicles that are adapted for use by people with disabilities.
Non-governmental organisations and non-profit organisations that use vehicles for health care, welfare or humanitarian purposes, or education development have also been exempt from paying fees.
It all sounds rather good yet in practice it can be frustrating, reports Outa (Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse).
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In response to this, Outa has expressed their concerns that this exemption is not feasible.
Outa states: “While the exemption process for the transportation of people with disabilities appears to be noble and good, the cumbersome nature of the procedures that have to be applied, makes the regulations meaningless for many, in that medical records need to be obtained from the disabled person being transported and then, records need to be kept of each trip, followed by after the fact rebate applications having to be made.”
Fighting any and all discrepancies
The organisation notes that the process to determine the validity of this exemption would require of SANRAL to thoroughly screen every application to ensure no discrepancies creeps in.
Wayne Duvenage, Outa’s Chairperson says: “When one weighs up the cost, effort and time taken to implement and manage this process, it hardly seems worth the effort.
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“It appears clear to us that SANRAL and the department of Transport have not taken note of the requests and needs of the disabled community for their practical requirement for exemption from e-tolls.”
Outa notes that the new regulations does not cater to the private motorists who transport disabled people on a daily basis.