Secret e-toll bill to take money from users’ bank accounts [April Fools]

The South African government has quietly pushed through a Bill which will allow the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to collect money directly from the bank accounts of people using e-toll roads.

Under the new regulations, The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), through SARS, will be empowered to act on those people who fail to pay their e-toll accounts.

SARS already has the power to collect through the Tax Administration Act (TAA) section 11.3.3.

The new act, which is set to be enforced from 1 May, is linked to the Tax Administration Act and will see SARS given the power to take money from those e-toll road users who refuse to pay.

The controversial e-toll system was implemented in December, but has faced widespread resistance, with social media abuzz with people refusing to settle outstanding e-tolls related accounts.

Bill document
Bill document

According to documents seen by BusinessTech, Sanral approached government in January with its concerns.

Sanral said that its inability to collect these outstanding e-toll bills – along with further tensions in cash flows, accompanied by heavy reliance on debt as a substitute to cover operating costs – may push the group over the edge.

The road agency’s debt stock is projected to total R39 billion in 2014.

Neither government, nor Sanral could be reached for immediate comment.

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