Outa cautiously welcomes Sanral's decision to suspend e-toll debt collection
The decision by the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) to suspend the process of pursuing e-toll debt is a strong signal that the end is near for the “irrational” Gauteng e-tolls.
This is the view of the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) following an announcement by Sanral on Wednesday that it will halt debt collections.
The agency said its board had resolved that, given the initiative led by President Cyril Ramaphosa to address the e-tolls payment impasse, it would "suspend the process of pursuing e-toll debt" with immediate effect.
Outa CEO Wayne Duvenage welcomed the news, but said: “We remain cautiously optimistic in that they have only suspended the process of challenging people legally when it comes to the outstanding debt. We’d like to know what this means for the future of e-tolls.”
Duvenage said Outa was waiting for more clarity from Sanral and government on how the e-toll debt would be resolved.
He said there were far more efficient ways to finance road construction and the e-toll system was the worst option that had been selected.
“Outa will challenge this matter until the decision to declare the Gauteng freeways tolled roads is rescinded, and until Sanral formally withdraws the court case and all summonses against e-toll defaulters,” Duvenage said.
Duvenage said the suspension by Sanral should be regarded as a temporary situation, as the e-toll debt collection could possibly be relaunched again in future, such as after the election.