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Fri Sep 30 10:24:20 CAT 2016

Sanral has new e-toll tactics

Penwell Dlamini | 25 February, 2016 06:14
If a debt is large, a payment arrangement that will allow a 60% discount can be made. The e-toll debt currently stands at about R5.2-billion. File photo
Image by: SIMON MATHEBULA

Selling your car to an individual or a dealer is going to be harder as a new process that will enable the buyer to know if the vehicle has outstanding e-tolls is being developed.

Yesterday, Electronic Toll Collection - the company established to collect money on behalf of the SA National Roads Agency - outlined its strategies to recover the billions of rands in e-toll fees that have not been paid.

ETC said that debt accumulated between December 3 2013 and August 31 2015 could still be settled at a 60% discount before the May 1 deadline. This is in line with a dispensation announced by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa last year.

If a debt is large, a payment arrangement that will allow a 60% discount can be made. The e-toll debt currently stands at about R5.2-billion.

ETC's chief operating officer, Mark Ridgway, said: "This requirement was borne out of requests from the motor industry [which] said that the administrative burden of tolling was onerous. The vehicle is listed on a database and is similar to a finance house saying you owe R50000 on your car. This may affect the trade-in value on a vehicle."

Furthermore, he said, Sanral had gazetted plans, awaiting public comment, whereby traffic fines could be issued for unpaid e-tolls in line with the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act.

Ridgway said about 17% of the province's road users owed 83% of the debt.

There are about 2.5 million cars that use Gauteng's tolled highways every month.

He said some companies owed as much over R20-million in e-toll bills.

If the e-toll debt was not settled within the discount period, he said, a court summons would be served.

Bills involving payment of less than R400000 will be brought before a magistrate's court while bills in excess of R400000 will be bought before the high court.

The good news is that since September 1 2015, the toll tariff for unregistered road users is now approximately 50% lower than it was.

ETC said it could not disclose the cost of recovering every unpaid rand, but said this would be much lower in a compliant environment than one in which motorists defied them.

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