e-tolls e-toll fares march

Photo: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Lihlumelo Toyana

‘SANRAL’s proposal to suspend licences of e-toll dodgers is illegal’ – AA

A contentious policy suggestion made by SANRAL this week has been eviscerated by the critics, with the AA now rejecting their new stance on e-tolls.

e-tolls e-toll fares march

Photo: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Lihlumelo Toyana

The Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) has pulled no punches in its frank review of proposals made by SANRAL this month, which look to target motorists who are not paying their e-toll fees. The controversial toll plazas are widely ignored, and the ‘user-pay principle’ has collapsed in Gauteng – forcing the road agency into a desperate move.

E-toll debacle sparks backlash

Text added to their website over the weekend claimed that driver license disks ‘would be withheld’ from motorists, if they have any outstanding balances for the e-toll gantries. The soft-suspension of renewals would only be lifted once the so-called ‘offender’ settles their bills. Naturally, this has sparked a fierce backlash across South Africa.

OUTA, a major lobby group, has been vehemently opposed to the continuation of these toll payments – and proposals to suspend licenses for drivers that withhold their payments have gone down like a lead balloon. The group blasted SANRAL for spreading ‘fake news through fearmongering’, claiming they’d have no legal right to halt renewals on these grounds.

AA claim SANRAL move would be illegal

This week, the AA echoed these sentiments, suggesting that the proposals were ‘outrageous and dishonest’:

“It is outrageous, dishonest, and irregular. We are gravely concerned that SANRAL perpetuates misinformation about tolls and discs while the Ministry is yet to pronounce on the matter. SANRAL is again demonstrating how desperate it is to coerce the public into paying for something they have taken a principled stand against paying.”

“It seems that SANRAL is attempting to pre-empt any announcement by the Minister on his decision regarding the future of e-tolls, and impose its own regulations on the public, completely ignoring the other process. Maybe they know something the rest of the country doesn’t, but it is still incumbent upon them to abide by the timelines of government, not their own.”