Interdict on e-Tolling – OUTA welcomes court’s decision

OUTA Press Release – 28 May 2012

OUTA welcomes the court’s decision to interdict the launch of e-Tolling, thereby allowing time for the full matter and case to be heard in court. We are pleased that Judge Prinsloo has decided it would be prudent to keep the e-toll ‘horse in the stable’ until this matter is reviewed in full, notwithstanding the recent decision to halt the launch for another month.

OUTA remains adamant that much could have been done by both SANRAL and the Department of Transport to have averted this legal action. We again state that we do not oppose the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) as there is always a need to improve our infrastructure but we object to the implementation of an unacceptably expensive and administratively burdensome tolling system. It is wasteful to pay additional billions in administration costs when these funds could be diverted to other national transport projects. We believe that the various key decision makers were unable to fully apply their minds effectively, given the information presented to them when the decision to toll was made. It would appear to us that insufficient time and effort was spent empirically challenging the various funding methods available, of which the fuel levy is just one.

Indeed the uniqueness of this particular case, being how the broad spectrum of South African society rallied around the common purpose of e-Tolling, cannot be overlooked. One senses that this may well be the start of new consciousness within South Africa where its citizens have been vindicated and their voices heard.

The interdict victory is just the second round after the case for urgency of this matter was granted in our favour. A much longer and fierce battle now lays ahead as the volumes of documentation will be argued in court to finally prove our case that eTolling is an unjustified, irrational and punitive tax on the citizens of South Africa.

Notwithstanding the interdict which now suspends eTolling until this case has received a full review in court, the authorities recent decision to postpone eTolling is just another example of how poorly this matter has been handled. Five postponements and almost a year after the initial planned launch, SANRAL are still not ready. We are of the opinion that they will never be able to be ready, because in reality, it is only possible to introduce legislation and processes that are practically possible to apply and enforce. eTolling is not supported by the majority of citizens. It is also simply impractical and unenforceable and this this is what SANRAL and the authorities are now starting to realize. By trying to force an unpopular decision on its citizens, the authorities may fast be realizing that this is not a good recipe for a healthy relationship with its people.

We remain hopeful that all parties will find each other prior to the court review, but if this is not the case, we will continue to represent South African road users interests while we seek a more efficient solution to our funding challenges.

— Ends —

OUTA: SANRAL INTRODUCES NEW PUNITIVE e-TOLL TARIFF

OUTA (Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance) Press Release

15 April 2012

SANRAL INTRODUCES NEW PUNITIVE e-TOLL TARIFF
Department of Transport published the Gauteng e-Toll tariffs in the Government Gazette (#35263) on Friday 13th April and have displayed tactics to try and force the public to register their vehicles with SANRAL, by introducing a new tariff which is almost 6 times higher than the tagged user. To date, the upper limits were indicated at R0.58c per kilometre for non-tagged light vehicles and discounted rate of R0.30c for tagged users. SANRAL have now introduced a new “alternate user” category which has never been mentioned before, of R1.74c per km. This is a shocking new rate for those who do not register their vehicles on the SANRAL database, tag or no tag.

download: Toll-tariff-Gazette April-13 2012 _1-35263 13-4-Transp.pdf 3MB

This brings a whole new dimension to the matter and begs the question, what is the difference between an e-tag and non e-tagged vehicle (ie Vehicle License Number – VLN) when registering with the SANRAL e-Toll system? Clearly this new category rate of R1.74c / km for the road user who chooses not to register their vehicle with SANRAL will be seen as exorbitant and a ‘bully-boy’ tactic to force people to register. One wonders on what grounds are these gross variances are justified. No doubt this is a new issue that may have to be urgently brought before the National Consumer Commissioner and will probably have implications for the engagement process that took place with the Commission last week between the DA and SANRAL.

It is also important to note that the Gazette has made no mention of the tariff exemptions for minibus taxis and commuter busses. In the absence of any details at this late stage, it must be assumed that they are in fact not exempt. The absence of clarity on the criteria for exemptions has further implications for both vulnerable groups (e.g. pensioners, mobility impaired). In addition, the tourism industry which has numerous permitted vehicles and drivers similar to minibus taxi operators, have good reason to expect that they should also qualify for exemptions.

This once again highlights the lack of transparency and insincere approach by SANRAL which may further drive a wedge between the citizens of Gauteng and the authorities on the matter of e-tolls.

Issued by: Wayne Duvenage

Chairperson- OUTA (Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance)
Cell: 082 884 6652

OUTA: SANRAL INTRODUCES NEW PUNITIVE e-TOLL TARIFF

Press Release: OUTA (Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance)

15 April 2012

SANRAL INTRODUCES NEW PUNITIVE e-TOLL TARIFF
Department of Transport published the Gauteng e-Toll tariffs in the Government Gazette (#35263) on Friday 13th April and have displayed tactics to try and force the public to register their vehicles with SANRAL, by introducing a new tariff which is almost 6 times higher than the tagged user. To date, the upper limits were indicated at R0.58c per kilometre for non-tagged light vehicles and discounted rate of R0.30c for tagged users. SANRAL have now introduced a new “alternate user” category which has never been mentioned before, of R1.74c per km. This is a shocking new rate for those who do not register their vehicles on the SANRAL database, tag or no tag.

download: Toll-tariff-Gazette April-13 2012 _1-35263 13-4-Transp.pdf 3MB

This brings a whole new dimension to the matter and begs the question, what is the difference between an e-tag and non e-tagged vehicle (ie Vehicle License Number – VLN) when registering with the SANRAL e-Toll system? Clearly this new category rate of R1.74c / km for the road user who chooses not to register their vehicle with SANRAL will be seen as exorbitant and a ‘bully-boy’ tactic to force people to register. One wonders on what grounds are these gross variances are justified. No doubt this is a new issue that may have to be urgently brought before the National Consumer Commissioner and will probably have implications for the engagement process that took place with the Commission last week between the DA and SANRAL.

It is also important to note that the Gazette has made no mention of the tariff exemptions for minibus taxis and commuter busses. In the absence of any details at this late stage, it must be assumed that they are in fact not exempt. The absence of clarity on the criteria for exemptions has further implications for both vulnerable groups (e.g. pensioners, mobility impaired). In addition, the tourism industry which has numerous permitted vehicles and drivers similar to minibus taxi operators, have good reason to expect that they should also qualify for exemptions.

This once again highlights the lack of transparency and insincere approach by SANRAL which may further drive a wedge between the citizens of Gauteng and the authorities on the matter of e-tolls.

Issued by: Wayne Duvenage

Chairperson- OUTA (Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance)
Cell: 082 884 6652

OUTA: SANRAL INTRODUCES NEW PUNITIVE e-TOLL TARIFF

Press Release: OUTA (Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance)

15 April 2012

SANRAL INTRODUCES NEW PUNITIVE e-TOLL TARIFF
Department of Transport published the Gauteng e-Toll tariffs in the Government Gazette (#35263) on Friday 13th April and have displayed tactics to try and force the public to register their vehicles with SANRAL, by introducing a new tariff which is almost 6 times higher than the tagged user. To date, the upper limits were indicated at R0.58c per kilometre for non-tagged light vehicles and discounted rate of R0.30c for tagged users. SANRAL have now introduced a new “alternate user” category which has never been mentioned before, of R1.74c per km. This is a shocking new rate for those who do not register their vehicles on the SANRAL database, tag or no tag.

This brings a whole new dimension to the matter and begs the question, what is the difference between an e-tag and non e-tagged vehicle (ie Vehicle License Number – VLN) when registering with the SANRAL e-Toll system? Clearly this new category rate of R1.74c / km for the road user who chooses not to register their vehicle with SANRAL will be seen as exorbitant and a ‘bully-boy’ tactic to force people to register. One wonders on what grounds are these gross variances are justified. No doubt this is a new issue that may have to be urgently brought before the National Consumer Commissioner and will probably have implications for the engagement process that took place with the Commission last week between the DA and SANRAL.

It is also important to note that the Gazette has made no mention of the tariff exemptions for minibus taxis and commuter busses. In the absence of any details at this late stage, it must be assumed that they are in fact not exempt. The absence of clarity on the criteria for exemptions has further implications for both vulnerable groups (e.g. pensioners, mobility impaired). In addition, the tourism industry which has numerous permitted vehicles and drivers similar to minibus taxi operators, have good reason to expect that they should also qualify for exemptions.

This once again highlights the lack of transparency and insincere approach by SANRAL which may further drive a wedge between the citizens of Gauteng and the authorities on the matter of e-tolls.

Issued by: Wayne Duvenage

Chairperson- OUTA (Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance)
Cell: 082 884 6652