The South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) has noted the Automobile Association’s (AA) release seeking for numbers on the number of motorists who have taken up the 60% discount offer.
As the AA correctly points out, today (17 May) marks the end of the extended period for Gauteng motorists to pay their outstanding historic e-toll accounts at the reduced 60% discount offer.
“Surely then, common sense should tell us that the total figures that the AA is seeking for will only be known at the end of this extended period,” says Vusi Mona, spokesperson for SANRAL.
“Nonetheless, we can confirm that there are approximately 2.5 million vehicles using the e-toll network in Gauteng on a monthly basis. Of these, 1.45 million are currently registered or are regular payers of their e-tolls.”
During the initial 60% discount period, SANRAL received more than 600 000 enquiries – whether via the web or via inbound calls from members of the public. Of the 600 000, approximately 130 000 have paid or have made arrangements to pay.
Mona says: “We thank those who have done the right thing and paid. At last count a total of sum of R136 million in discounted total payments, as well as payment agreements for a further R123 million had been entered into. These figures will change once the numbers that came in during the extension have been taken into account.”
SANRAL as an agency of government must comply with requirements as stipulated in the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). It is therefore obliged to collect outstanding debts to government in terms thereof.
“The e-toll network is more than just about payment – it offers a multitude benefits. Qualitative benefits as a result of improvements in travel conditions such as improved safety and comfort, and the security of knowing that there are eyes on the road to help you when you are in trouble. The network upgrades have led to property developments, which have been a catalyst for economic growth, job creation, and integrating people situated in the outskirts into urban spaces. The long-term impacts include encouraging trip sharing, discouraging urban sprawl, promote the use of public transport and discourage road usage during peak hours. This means less time spent on the road as a result of reduced traffic, giving people more time with their families,” concludes Mona.