Outa twist in e-toll dis­pute with San­ral

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - — Wheels Re­porter.

THE Au­to­mo­bile As­so­ci­a­tion (AA) notes with con­cern the lat­est public ex­changes be­tween the South African Na­tional Roads Agency Lim­ited (San­ral), and the Or­gan­i­sa­tion Un­do­ing Tax Abuse (Outa), on is­sues re­lat­ing to e-tolls in Gaut­eng.

The dis­pute raised in the public do­main over the past week by the two or­gan­i­sa­tions re­lates to le­gal dis­cus­sions be­tween them on the sum­monses is­sued to e-toll de­fault­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to Outa, an agree­ment was reached that cur­rent, and fu­ture, Outa mem­bers — who have out­stand­ing e-toll ac­counts — will not be pur­sued un­til a test case to de­ter­mine the le­gal­ity of e-tolls on the Gaut­eng Free­way Im­prove­ment Project (GFIP) is con­cluded.

San­ral, in turn, de­nied that an agree­ment has been reached, claim­ing that Outa is us­ing this as a means of at­tract­ing (paid-for) mem­ber­ship.

Nei­ther Outa nor San­ral have men­tioned the po­si­tion of non-Outa mem­bers, es­pe­cially those who are not pay­ing their e-tolls ac­counts, and how they should pro­ceed if they are sum­monsed by the roads agency.

“What­ever the sit­u­a­tion may be, this cur­rent round of de­bate in the me­dia be­tween the two par­ties is not bring­ing any clar­ity to Gaut­eng road users on how they must pro­ceed in re­la­tion to e-tolls.

“Many road users still do not pay for e-tolls, and are anx­ious for a fi­nal le­gal rul­ing. In light of this, we urge both San­ral and Outa to con­sider that this is not ben­e­fit­ting any­one,” the AA said.

The AA said it is of par­tic­u­lar con­cern that Outa claims that an agree­ment has been reached in re­la­tion to its cur­rent and fu­ture mem­bers.

“If it is true that an ar­range­ment has been made (only for cur­rent and fu­ture Outa mem­bers), this amounts to pro­tec­tion for a spe­cific group of in­di­vid­u­als, which is wholly un­fair and, we would ar­gue, may be un­con­sti­tu­tional.”

The as­so­ci­a­tion said it is dis­mayed at what seems to be end­less de­lays in bring­ing this mat­ter to fi­nal­ity, as the sit­u­a­tion does not ben­e­fit the mo­torists us­ing the e-tolls.


San­ral and Outa have locked horns over is­sues re­lat­ing Gaut­eng e-tolls.

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