SA business apathetic towards e-tolls

South African companies do not have a corporate stance on e-tolling in Gauteng, leaving their employees to foot their own bills.

According to a report on MoneyWeb, citing the results of a PE Corporate Services (PECS) survey, 45% of companies remain neutral or do not take a corporate line on Sanral’s controversial road tax.

PECS, which questioned 100 companies, sought to gauge how employers will be handling the economics of e-tolls.

17% of those surveyed supported the e-tolling system, while perhaps surprisingly, only 38% were opposed to it.

The survey, which was conducted in December and January, found that close to half (46%) of the companies indicated that they would pass any additional costs incurred by e-tolling on to customers, the rest indicating they would absorb the costs.

Nearly two thirds (63%) of companies surveyed indicated they would only reimburse employees for e-toll fees paid while on company business, but would otherwise not assist employees who rack up large bills.

PECS noted further that e-tolling has already become a factor in wage negotiations.

Persistent problems

Amongst other issues highlighted, companies questioned in the survey also indicated that they were having difficulty registering for e-tolls – adding to the growing voices of dissent against the system.

Since its launch on 3 December 2013, the e-tolling system in Gauteng has been a hot topic, faced with opposition from numerous sectors of society.

Leading the mounting issues against the system are numerous billing complaints – which, according to Outa head Wayne Duvenage, exceeds 1,600 at the opposition group, alone.

Numerous reports of number plate cloning, disproportionate bill amounts, and even in some cases the deceased being billed, have made headlines across various media channels.

Billing complaints were also received by the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the National Consumer Commission (NCC) – an indication, Outa said, that the system is failing.

Despite the billing mess going as far as drawing concern from South African president Jacob Zuma, Sanral maintained that billing issues were not widespread, and all concerns were being addressed.

Both Sanral CFO, Inge Mulder, and Sanral Spokesman Vusi Mona previously downplayed any billing crisis, noting that only a small percentage (0.3%) of all complaints were “valid”.

Sanral has called the idea of a failing billing system misleading.

“When one compares [these complaints] to the approximately one million account holders and the volumes of passages per day, one can say the system is holding up,” Sanral said.

“We are by no means saying the complaints received are not important and should not be dealt with; we are simply saying that it is misleading to say the system is not working.”

More on Sanral and e-tolls

Why e-tolls are ridiculous: economist

E-tolls blamed for the rise in cloned plates

Sanral processing 3 million transactions daily

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SA business apathetic towards e-tolls