Roads agency Sanral is expecting smooth revenue collection through e-tolling, transport minister Dipuo Peters said on Sunday. “The system is ready. We expect a smooth process from 3 December,” Peters told media at a briefing on the e-tolling system’s readiness.
The briefing took place at the Sanral operations centre in Midrand from where the e-tolling system is operated.
The system had been operating for the past 18 months, and Sanral was able to test the system without billing road users.
Peters said reports that revenue collected through e-tolling would go offshore was a myth. “There are local firms that are participants and service providers of various aspects of the system. At least 90% of software being used to operate the system was developed locally.”
The system included emergency and vehicle-towing services on the province’s highways. High-performance cameras had been mounted on the gantries and were being monitored at the operations centre.
“These services would be operated 24 hours a day … these are some of the benefits of using the tolled highways,” she said.
Peters criticised those who opposed e-tolling and said it was time they moved on. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) was misleading motorists, she said. The union criticised e-tolling after Peters announced the 3 December date, saying road users should refrain from voting for the ANC at next year’s general election.
“I did not expect a union to say such. We will need more roads and good infrastructure even after the elections. Numsa is misleading the public, unless it wants to tell us that it is transforming itself into a political party.”
She labelled the Democratic Alliance as “politically bankrupt” for putting up anti-tolling billboards along the highways. Sanral CEO Nazir Alli said those who did not pay would face the law.
Motorists were expected to pay within seven days after receiving e-toll bills or they would be handed over to debt collectors, he said. “If debt collection fails, the Criminal Procedure Act will come into effect and such motorists will receive summons to that effect.”
Alli said at least 700 000 people had already registered for e-tags. “At least 100 000 registered between October and November after we announced the tariffs. We expect more to get tagged,” Alli said.
He said those who registered and bought e-tags would receive a 48% discount. — Sapa