Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an extensive package of e-toll relief measures in an effort to encourage users of Gauteng freeways to accept the system and restore confidence in roads agency Sanral in the capital markets.
- A single, reduced tariff for all motorists, with or without an e-tag that is reduced from 58c/km to 30c/km for light motor vehicles.
- The monthly cap for those lights motor vehicles with and without e-tags reduced from R450 per month to R225 per month.
- People with less than 30 gantry passes per year, won’t be charged.
- Outstanding e-toll debt will be cut by 60% and has to be paid within six months.
- A monthly cap of R450 on e-tolls not paid within 30 days.
- Vehicle owners with outstanding e-tolls won’t be allowed to renew their vehicle licences.
- More payment options, including the Post Office, vehicle licensing centres and retail payment kiosks and simplified administration.
See the infographic tweeted by South African Gov account @GovernmentZA below:
None of the measures will be backdated and it will only be implemented after it has been published in the Government Gazette.
Ramaphosa said the reduced tariffs and lower monthly cap will result in a shortfall of R390 million per year that will be covered jointly by the national government and the Gauteng provincial government. No further detail was given about how it will be split between the two parties.
Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said one of the issues of concern relating to e-tolls was criminalising those who don’t pay. In response to that government has decided to strengthen the link to drivers’ licences and to use the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (Aarto) to “enhance compliance,” she said.
The Aarto Act is currently only in operation in Tshwane and Johannesburg and has resulted in huge issues for especially fleet owners. It entails among other things a point demerits system that will see habitual offenders lose their drivers licences and the blocking of transactions on eNatis or outstanding traffic fines. The licence blocking was, after a few false starts, recently implemented in Johannesburg and Tshwane, but the points demerit module has not yet been tested anywhere in South Africa.
Previous efforts to roll out Aarto in the rest of the country were aborted after the City of Cape Town threatened to stop it through legal action.
The Aarto Act is now being amended in the hope of dealing with some of the problems, but the system is highly dependent on the Post Office for delivery of notices, which has not improved confidence that it can be rolled out successfully.
Ramaphosa was scant with details on the timelines for implementation of the changes to the e-toll system. The new tariffs and monthly caps will be introduced in the next two to three months, and the rest of the measures will follow depending on regulatory and legal frameworks, he said. He promised that road users will be kept informed about progress in this regard.
Ramaphosa said the new payment options safeguard the integrity of the fiscus and enhance the ability of Sanral to raise funds and meet its obligations.
Ramaphosa said the announcement shows that government listens to its people and that it is responsive, caring and responsible.
He said the announcement signifies an opportunity “for a fresh start for all of us” and asked all stakeholders to help build an integrated and sustainable transport system.
An information booklet handed out after the announcement shows that the implementation of the new dispensation may take up to 18 months. According to information in the booklet the monthly cap and single, lower tariff will be implemented in the next ten to 12 weeks. An announcement in the government Gazette to effect the 60% discount and other measures relating to outstanding e-toll debt will follow within three to four months and the gazetting and implementation of the licence blocking, the 30 free gantry passes per year for infrequent users and integration with the Post Office and licensing offices will take between six and 18 months.
Some software changes and system reconfigurations also have to be made.
It is also clear from the booklet that the Department of Transport has started preparing for a FICA-type process that will commence in October to ensure the personal and contact details of vehicle owners and road users are updated to ensure better service of documents, including e-toll bills.
Full list of new tariffs:
- Class A1 (motor cycles) 18c/km
- Class A2 (light motor vehicles) 30c/km
- Class B 75c/km
- Class C 150c/km
- Class A1 R125
- Class A2 R225
- Class B R875
- Class C R2 900
Time of day discounts will continue to apply if paid within the grace period, but only for road users with Sanral e-toll accounts.
Road users who don’t pay their e-toll bills within 30 days will pay double the new monthly cap applicable to their vehicle class.