Sanral’s offer to discount e-tolls by 60% in a bid to get more Gauteng road users to adopt the system has failed, with the road agency missing its collection targets by some margin.
According to Sanral’s latest figures, in May 2016, when the 60% offer expired, the group collected only R109 million (R36 million of which was from the discount) from a target of R195 million.
In April, where there was a reported “rush” from motorists to take advantage of the discount, Sanral collected just over R125 million in e-tolls (R59 million of which was from the discount) from a target of R130 million.
This means that Sanral only collected 72% out of the targeted amount of R325 million for April and May – and only 30% of that was from the discount.
Anti-tolling and civil action group, Outa, revealed in June that Gauteng motorists who took advantage of the e-toll dispensation plan paid an average of R1,100 each.
In a Parliamentary report on the uptake of the dispensation plan, it was revealed that a total of R145 million was paid by 130,000 motorists – averaging R1,115 per motorist.
Test case in the pipeline?
E-toll collection has been a massive headache for Sanral, which has consistently missed collection targets over the past few years. The roads agency started issuing legal letters to road users who were not paying.
Outstanding e-toll debt has risen even further since September 2015, and is now estimated at around R8 billion – and climbing.
However, Outa has stood firm in its position that e-tolling would not stand up in court, and has approached Sanral to do a test case – with a goal of saving time and money, and not putting more pressure on South Africa’s already-overburdened courts with thousands of cases.
According to a report by Moneyweb, Sanral and Outa have met on a number of occasions to flesh out a possible test case for the ongoing e-toll saga, where the two groups could possibly determine test the legality of the system without mass court action against road users.
However, no agreement has been reached, and Sanral said it will continue to tackle e-toll collection as it has been doing until there is a good legal reason not to. A test case, while not off the cards, can only go forward if the two groups agree to the terms.