Image for illustrative purposes. Photo: Bennitt Bartl
The company that manages e-tolls on behalf of Sanral believes writing off the debt will bring delinquent Gauteng road users on board.
Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) has proposed writing off part of the debt for each year of compliance until all historical debt is forgiven.
“This would essentially mean that for every year of compliance, Sanral would write off 20% of historical debt,” it said in a statement.
“After five years a newly compliant road user would be debt-free.”
ALSO READ: UPDATE: E-tolls company clarifies ‘monetising’ road user data
“The company believes that the future of e-tolls lies in providing Gauteng drivers with an affordable way of paying back debt with a quid pro quo option for compliant road users.”
ETC and Sanral are also considering rewarding existing and compliant e-toll payers with a reduction in future rates “for their ongoing support”.
“This would leave room for Sanral to restructure its balance sheet and a way for road users to become compliant without fear of legal summons.”
Earlier this month Gauteng premier David Makhura once again reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to doing away with the road tolling system.
Following an “extremely unfortunate and deeply regrettable” social media exchange between transport minister Fikile Mbalula and finance minister Tito Mboweni, President Cyril Ramaphosa established a task team to find a viable solution to e-tolls.
ALSO READ: Premier promises to scrap e-tolls – again
The team has resolved to provide a solution by next month.
However, ETC believes scrapping the system won’t affect the legitimate debt Sanral still has to pay for the cost of improving the Gauteng freeway network.
“While the network comprised an initial investment of R25-billion, this has subsequently ballooned to R47-billion in lieu of the low compliance rate of Gauteng road users to pay their e-tolls,” ETC said.
“Scrapping the e-tolling system would immediately require the settling of this enlarged bill.”
The company said “yet another government bailout” would mean taxpayers’ money was taken away from other pressing social needs to fund Gauteng roads.
@SANRAL_za so desperate to keep stealing money they now offer to clear previous debt! Just scrap etolls like you should have years ago and be done with this absolute waste of money!
— Rory Currin (@Rory_Currin) July 16, 2019
With e-tolls, I don’t want to be sitting with a huge bill. I have seen people who owe tens of thousands of Rands. And since I run my own business, I can’t afford any such drama. I’d rather pay a few hundred Rands each month. Mark my words, it won’t just be scrapped. Somewhere…
— Paul (@Paul_F_B) July 13, 2019
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