On Wednesday 20 May 2015, Deputy
President Cyril Ramaphosa made an announcement with respect to the “new
dispensation for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project” wherein a number
of specific changes to the e-tolling policy “as approved by Cabinet” were
Almost a month later, on Wednesday 17
June, two notices signed by the Director General of Transport and SANRAL’s CEO
were published in government gazette 38884
under notice numbers 524 and 525 respectively.
e-toll tariffs applicable from 2 July 2015
Notice number 524 refers to new
e-toll tariffs to come into effect from 2 July 2015 and the tariff of approximately 30c per kilometre is to
continue to apply to registered e-tag
users but is to be extended to registered
VLN users who were previously expected to pay approximately 58c per kilometre.
Both types of registered users still have to sign SANRAL’s 2012 terms and
conditions which have been publicly stated as being “90% compliant with the
Consumer Protection Act” (meaning that they are 100% non-compliant) on registering with SANRAL and both categories of registered user must be prepaid users
or have a payment method acceptable to SANRAL linked to their SANRAL e-toll
account in order to qualify for this rate.
If these registered users don’t have a prepaid account with a sufficient
positive balance to cover the transaction, or don’t have a payment method
acceptable to SANRAL linked to their SANRAL e-toll account will be charged the “alternate
user tariff”, and will have 31 days to pay the “alternate user tariff” which is
now THREE TIMES higher than the
registered user tariff – approximately
90c per kilometre.
Registered users will however be extended
a 31 day “grace period” from time of passing under a gantry in which to pay the
“alternate user tariff” without an invoice being generated or 30 days from
invoice to pay at a “discounted” rate equivalent to the tariff they would
“Unregistered alternate users” however will still have only 7 days “grace period”
to pay and are NOT similarly
entitled to the so-called “discount”, nor are they entitled to the so-called “capped
amount” hailed to be so helpful to the budgets of South Africans. If
unregistered alternate users pay within the 7 days “grace period”, they will be
charged the “standard tariff” of approximately
30c per kilometre. If however they don’t pay within the 7 days “grace period”
but do pay before an invoice is issued by SANRAL or within 30 days of the date
of the invoice they will receive a 60% discount on the alternate user tariff,
making the tariff they must pay approximately 36c per kilometre*.
Two gantries, namely “Inkovu (N4-1)” and “Penguin
(N4-1)” have been deleted from the list of gantries, reducing the total list
from 49 to 47 gantries.
Discount on previously incurred e-tolls
A discount of 60% will indeed be
applicable on previously incurred e-tolls and for a specific period at some
time in the future, however this will NOT
be applicable until such time as the Director General publishes a notice giving
effect to it.
Therefore, no-one is currently
entitled to this settlement discount despite it appearing in this notice and having been announced almost a month ago.
Conditions for payment of e-tolls
Notice number 525 refers to SANRAL’s
conditions of where to pay and what payment methods they will accept.
“Day passes” are still a firm feature
It is notable that the so-called “day
pass” remains a feature of the e-tolling system. There is no mention in either
notice of the “30 free gantry passes” for out of Towner’s referenced by Deputy
President Cyril Ramaphosa when this “new dispensation” was announced. If such a
feature existed, it would or should have been included in the notice number 524
tariff gazette. It’s not.
JPSA’s comments on the overall “new dispensation”
Sadly, Justice Project South Africa
is not in the least bit surprised by the fact that the PR exercise announcing
the so-called “new e-tolls dispensation” and what has been published in the government gazette notices in question,
particularly in the tariff gazette, whilst sort-of
resembling one another, don’t actually match one another.
Road users have once again been
misled with respect to the tariff they will be expected to pay – with the
repeatedly stated rate of 30c per kilometre again being used to mislead them. The
fact is that those who are not registered with or choose not to register with
SANRAL and waive the protections afforded to them by the Consumer Protection Act
in the process will be expected to pay 20% more** if they don’t pay
within 7 days, and three times that tariff if they don’t pay within 30 days
The fact still remains that a considerably high proportion of daily GFIP road users are not and most likely will not easily
become registered with SANRAL. Furthermore, the e-tolls system has not, even by
a long stretch of the imagination, been uncomplicated by even a small degree as
recommended by Premier David Makhura’s “e-tolls review panel” and the
collection methods remain expensive, cumbersome and burdensome to everyone. SANRAL is still trying to economically blackmail
road users into registering with them and the interests of SANRAL’s business
partners, Kapsch and ETC have continued to be firmly protected so they may
continue to profit from unregistered road users.
This tariff gazette unfortunately but as expected further
exposes the smoke and mirrors methodology of public announcements made in the
past, and now by the latest messenger of e-tolling propaganda, Deputy President
JPSA further points out that it must be remembered that these two notices do not and cannot deal with the
threats of withholding licence discs on the basis of outstanding e-tolls. Such amendments
to the e-road regulations under the SANRAL Act MUST be published for public comment and JPSA will use the
opportunity to argue against that preposterous idea as and when the opportunity
JPSA does not disseminate information which is not completely true and correct. We have therefore edited this release to correct errors.
* We previously stated that the charge would be "approximately 54c per kilometre". This was a calculation error, for which we apologise.
** We previously stated that alternate users would have to pay almost double the tariff if they didn't pay within 7 days. This too was due to the calculation error stated above.