E-tolls: South Africans remain defiant

SANRAL are still struggling to recover the money spent on roads as resistance over e-tolls is still as strong as ever.


Four years down the line it seems South Africans are still defiant over e-tolls. The South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) has reportedly only managed to successfully collect a third of the money owed by motorists.

According to The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) SANRAL has sent out over 6000 summonses. OUTA chairperson Wayne Duvenaghe promised that the fight is not over.

Also read: City beats SANRAL in court: No N1/N2 tolls for Cape Town

“It’s complicated, it’s a big case. There are over 6000 summonses sent out by SANRAL – according to them. We have about 160 of our supporters caught up in that and we are handling every one of their cases. The high spend on SANRAL’s legal costs is out there and OUTA is defending the public against the lawlessness of the scheme,” he explained

OUTA says they are prepared to work alongside the authorities in order to find a workable solution instead of the flawed e-toll system. Duvenaghe believes using money from the fuel levy to maintain the road network is a better method,

“We are not saying ring fence the fuel levy. What we are saying is that what Treasury could have done is to increase the fuel levy by 9 cents in 2007. There would be zero administration costs. Had they done that, the bonds they paid for the roads would be paid off,” he said.

Justice Project SA chairperson Howard Dembovsky did not hold back in labelling the system a failure;

“We are getting close to four years now and let’s be frank, they have failed in an absolutely dismal fashion. The so-called user-pays principle has fallen flat on its face. The reason is that people were outraged at the idea of e-tolls,” he said.

SANRAL along with the Department of Transport came under fire from the public and some trade unions when the e-tolling system was launched in Gauteng in 2013. It was met with heavy defiance from motorists, with most flat out refusing to comply.