Drivers’ licences and e-tolls - don't panic says Makhura

05 April 2018 - 17:41
By Claudi Mailovich
An e-toll gantry on the N17 near Germiston.
Image: SIMON MATHEBULA An e-toll gantry on the N17 near Germiston.

Gauteng premier David Makhura has sought to allay motorists’ fears following reports that the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (Aarto) Amendment Bill will see them losing their drivers’ licences for unpaid e-toll fines.

Earlier this week‚ the DA in Gauteng said although the failure to pay e-tolls was not a traffic infringement‚ under the Aarto Amendment Bill it would count as disobeying a road sign.

"This means that when the demerit system does come into effect‚ drivers risk losing one point each time they pass a gantry with an e-toll sign without paying. Furthermore‚ if a driver passes 12 gantries with an e-toll sign‚ they would lose 12 points in one day and could have their licence suspended for a year‚" DA spokesperson on road and transport in the province Fred Nel said on Monday.

He also called on Makhura to speed up on engaging with President Cyril Ramaphosa regarding e-tolls. Makhura announced in his state of the province address that he was to interact with the president in finding a new funding model.

Makhura said in a statement on Thursday that‚ as he promised‚ he had met with Ramaphosa on Wednesday last week to discuss e-tolls. The premier described the meeting as productive.

"The president has put in place a process that will deal with the issue of e-tolls and I am confident we will find a solution that will satisfy all of us‚" Makhura said. "The process has started and the president himself is going to lead it. The Amendment Bill processes currently under way started a long time ago… long before the new dawn."

The Aarto Amendment Bill dates back to 2013 and was passed by the National Assembly in September 2017.

Makhura urged residents not to panic and encouraged them to make their inputs during the ongoing public hearings on the Bill. He reiterated that e-tolls have not worked.

During his state of the province address in February he said: "The new dawn [of the Ramaphosa-led government] must also bring a solution to the protracted and unresolved problem of e-tolls‚" adding it was "loud and clear for all to see that e-tolls have not worked."

- BusinessLIVE