Latest News
Thursday / 20 June 2024
HomeNewsIt’s official – You must pay your e-toll debt

It’s official – You must pay your e-toll debt

In a press briefing on the impending shutdown of the controversial electronic tolls (e-tolls), Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga confirmed that motorists with outstanding debts will be required to settle their accounts.

With e-tolls no longer billing drivers there will be a huge revenue gap for the entities involved with the system, such as the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral), Gauteng Provincial Government, and Department of Transport, who will be looking to the historic debt of non-compliant citizens to make up for this.

“In terms of the law, the motorists are still obligated to pay [their historic e-toll debts],” said Chikunga.

“On how we will enforce or not enforce, that is a matter we have not discussed, we will be tending to that as time goes on.”

However, an important distinction exists between “historic” and “current” debt.

Current debt refers to any unpaid e-tolls within the past 30 days, whereas historic debt refers to the charges accrued before the past 30 days.

Sanral CEO Reginald Demana confirmed that motorists who open an e-tag account and credit the account with money will see these funds go towards settling their current e-toll debt, but not their historic debt.

Therefore, motorists who open e-tag accounts more than 30 days after the shutdown on 12 April will not be forced to pay any current debt when crediting their account, but they will still be on the hook for historic debt.

Those who already have an e-tag account can wait 30 days before crediting it to avoid paying their current debt.

“If you have an account, you are owing [current debt], and you put money into it, of course, the e-toll account will help itself, but after that, you can use it freely,” said Demana.

“As for the historic debt, beyond the current account, we will see.”

Critically, the e-tags that were used by e-toll gantries to identify and bill drivers will remain functional at all conventional toll plazas in South Africa.

The future of e-tolls

Going forward, e-toll infrastructure will be used to combat crime in the Gauteng provinces through their cameras and number plate-scanning technologies.

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi said they will be employed to track missing cars, lost goods, kidnapped individuals, for speed enforcement, and “many other things.”

As such, the province has a “huge interest in ensuring that those particular cameras are connected to our provincial command centre,” said Lesufi.

Furthermore, Sanral’s Demana said that the money obtained through e-tolls will unlock further investment in road enhancements around the nation.

At the onset, e-tolls allowed Sanral to secure private funding and perform necessary infrastructure upgrades before the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and it has since also used the revenue to support developments such as Waterfall City in Gauteng.

Demana highlighted that large parts of the Northern N1 corridor up to the Musina border will soon be separated into two lanes by a solid barrier which will see improved safety and mobility on the busy route.

In addition, the N2 and N3 corridors are being extensively upgraded in several areas with money generated by e-tolls.

Show comments