Gauteng motorists get final e-toll demand letters | Fin24
 
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Gauteng motorists get final e-toll demand letters

Apr 07 2016 13:07

Cape Town – Letters of final demand have been sent to Gauteng motorists who have boycotted paying their e-toll fees, anti-tolling body Outa said on Thursday.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) was informed that road agency Sanral had started serving people with letters demanding payment this week.

“We would like to highlight that letters of final demand should not be confused with a summons, as it is a low commitment step that does not officially initiate legal proceedings,” it said in a statement.

“However, it is a process that the public can and should use in their favour, to further challenge the irrational e-toll scheme," it said, pointing users to a section devoted to e-toll summonses on its website.

“Sanral’s past behaviour and processes have laid the ground for a very strong defence in the form of a collateral challenge against Sanral, if and when a summons arises for non-payment of e-tolls,” it said.

Outa said that it is “unfortunate that despite the continued low compliance levels, government persists in trying to force their failed scheme onto an unwilling public, whose resistance has remained strong throughout the debacle.

“The showdown between the state and the people on the e-toll matter will continue to intensify until Sanral and their bosses eventually realise the public will not bow down to their pressure."

Why Sanral is acting on non-payment

Sanral warned road users on March 21 that motorists who have refused to settle their e-toll debt would start getting civil summonses.

“The summonses will also include higher value summonses of mostly companies,” said Alex van Niekerk, project manager for the e-toll’s Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.

“Due to the amount owed in these cases, the summons has to be managed by the High Court,” he said.

“The decision to issue summonses comes at the end of an extensive period of communications between Sanral and vehicle owners who neglected to pay outstanding debts,” Sanral said in a statement.

“Since the introduction of the 60% discount of e-toll debt in November 2015, Sanral has made it quite clear that it will also introduce a process of debt collection against serial defaulters.

“The Electronic Toll Collection company (ETC) who run the system on behalf of Sanral, have reiterated and amplified this, not only through the media but also directly to individuals through phone calls, emails and SMS messages.

“Sanral has a responsibility towards the country and the thousands of compliant vehicle owners who regularly pay their e-toll accounts to recover the outstanding debt from defaulters,” said Van Niekerk.

“A civil summons must not be confused with criminal proceedings. It is similar to not have paying any commercial accounts and should not be confused with a criminal case.”

outa  |  sanral  |  gauteng  |  tolls
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