Sanral comes clean on e-toll billing mess

Nazir Alli, the CEO of the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), has admitted that unregistered e-toll users continues to be a challenge for the system.

Alli told Radio 702 that the company was busy with “ironing out the glitches”.

The glitches, he said, had very little to do with people who had registered for the e-toll system. He said the only real issue that occurs with registered users is the lag when it comes to them topping up their account.

He said that when customers conducted an EFT transfer, that could take up to five working days.

Alli said that Sanral would work around this system by manually tracking account payers to ensure that customers do not go into debt.

“Our major challenge has been in terms of the people who have not registered, whose details are not updated,” the chief executive said.

Alli said that Sanral is relying on the eNatis (Electronic National Administration Traffic Information System) for the correct vehicle information.

Opposition To Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) previously warned Sanral that the eNaTiS system was flawed.

“First of all, we knew there were flaws on third party databases, we also rely on third party databases as well. Just because one particular part of this it (the e-toll system) not correct, doesn’t mean that you mustn’t improve the roads, and get the roads paid for. We need to look at the bigger picture in terms of what was our objective,” Alli said.

Sanral’s lead said that one of the objectives was to get people out of their private cars onto Gautrain, “and that is exactly what has happened”.

“We’ve got over a million people who are registered, and there are regularly people who are still registering, especially people who are now recognising that they could be arrested for something they have not been involved in at all,” Alli said.

He said that Sanral’s target was to collect R200 million per month, with the group collecting in excess of R300 million per month.

“We don’t believe there is a danger at all for the system,” Alli said when quizzed by the radio host.

In a report published on Thursday (27 February), Outa contended that Gauteng’s public transport infrastructure is currently inadequate to cater as an alternative to even a small percentage of the current 2.5 million freeway users.

According to the Gauteng City Region Observatory, a partnership between the City
of Johannesburg and the two universities of Witwatersrand and Johannesburg, only
10% of commuters make use of bus and train services whilst 42% make use of the
city’s Minibus Taxi system and 42% use cars.

Outa noted that, although Gautrain now links 9 stations between the two cities of Pretoria and Johannesburg with OR Tambo International Airport in a narrow North/South corridor, and serves around 45,000 commuters a day, this is only between 12-15% of the daily road commuter traffic between the two cities and less than 3% of the total freeway users.

It said that, while e-tolling has commenced there has been an expected increase in passengers using the Gautrain, until the rail network expands to cater for West and East corridors, and unless the tariffs are reduced to serve a larger portion of the population, the Gautrain cannot be regarded as an affordable or convenient public transport alternative for the majority of citizens.

“Moreover the Gautrain is not currently meeting revenue targets to meet its obligations and as another embodiment of the “user pay principle” appears to be way below the requisite number of users who can pay the fares to make it profitable,” it said.

More on e-tolls

Sanral processing 3 million transactions daily

Sanral addressing Zuma e-toll concerns

Sanral: 45,000 e-tag registrations a week

Must Read

Partner Content

Show comments

Trending Now

Follow Us

Sanral comes clean on e-toll billing mess