The SA National Roads Agency has dismissed as “fallacious” the DA claim that it will spend R473.2 million on communication with e-toll account holders and transgressors.
“Either the DA can’t read the documents we sent to them or they are being mischievous,” Sanral spokesman Vusi Mona said on Monday.
“In case of the former, we shall be patient and help the DA to understand and navigate its way through the voluminous documents we gave them last week,” he said.
Mona said it was disappointing the Democratic Alliance had made the claim without seeking clarity from Sanral.
He said Sanral had given the DA documentation relating to the implementation of e-tolling in Gauteng at its request.
In a statement on Monday, the DA said the documents it obtained from Sanral indicated that the funds would go towards sending smses, e-mails, faxes, letters, and making calls to clients’ land-lines and cellphones.
Mona said the amounts quoted by the DA referred to provisional sums in Sanral’s contract with the service provider.
An amount of R427.2m was the provisional sum Sanral could pay, in the worst case scenario, for communication to e-toll account holders and transgressors.
“However, we can see that at this stage, registration trends show that less than one percent of account holders have indicated that they would like to receive their invoices by mail. The majority have opted for paperless options.
“This means Sanral will end up spending far less of the provisional figure than projected,” said Mona.
The services listed in the contract, for which the provisional sum was provided, were procured in terms of the Public Finance Management Act.
“The DA also omitted to indicate that the current toll tariff structure, which has been published in the media many times before, makes provision for violations.
“An increased toll tariff (alternative user toll fee), which is a higher toll fee, becomes applicable should a road user not pay within the seven days grace period.
“This allows for the additional administration costs to be absorbed and it also avoids a situation where compliant users subsidise non-compliant users,” said Mona.
DA MPL Ian Ollis said it believed e-tolls would not benefit Gauteng motorists.
“[We have] already successfully halted Sanral’s plans to toll highways where we govern in the Western Cape, and [we are] prepared to take the fight to the Constitutional Court if we have to,” he said.