South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) continues to struggle to get Gauteng road users to pay for e-tolls according to new figures released by Transport Minister, Dipuo Peters.
Business Day reported that Peters sent a written reply to Parliament noting that of the 2.5 million registered vehicles on the GFIP network in a month, just under half (1.4 million) were registered e-tag account holders, while 1.3 million users were paying their e-toll bills.
“Currently … there are just over 2.9-million accounts with a balance owing. However, 1.2-million owe less than R500 each as at the middle of August,” Peters said.
In a separate answer to a question on e-tolls, Peters said the Department of Transport would collect outstanding debt.
“No money is lost as the amount of revenue which is not collected remains in debtors, and therefore still collectible from the debtor.
“I also bring to the attention of the honourable member that the PFMA [Public Finance Management Act] compels all debt owed to be collected from the debtors,” the minister said.
The roads agency started issuing legal letters to road users who were not paying, in February.
Sanral said last month that it has already issued more than 6,000 summonses to non-paying motorists, with that number expected to increase.
Peters noted that while not a single case of a defaulting motorist had yet gone to court, refusal to pay e-tolls is “a white-collar crime … a crime nevertheless”.
Outstanding e-toll debt is estimated at around R8 billion – and climbing.
More on e-tolls