If the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act, which was signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week, goes into effect, a trip from Johannesburg to Pretoria will cost consumers without e-tags R1 000.
A R250 fine would be levied against motorists for for every gantry passed without an e-tag present.
Critics have slated this decision as:
- This legislation could be used to bully non-paying motorists into paying e-tolls
- Gauteng currently has a 70% non-compliance rate, meaning the burden of billing motorists would be onerous
- Approximately 1,49-million trips are taken on Gauteng’s tolled roads daily
- For every R500 fine received under the new Act, motorists will receive a demerit point
- Non-payment of fines could result in a three-year driving ban
- This would cause havoc with the country’s economy as people would lose jobs and small businesses may close
Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula has a deadline of Saturday 31 August to announce the future of the contentious tolling system.
Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni took to Twitter on Thursday to oppose Gauteng premier David Makhura’s views that the e-toll system should be scrapped.
David Makhura said in a speech that “our position has not changed. We remain determined that e-tolls are not part of the future of our province.” He went as far as saying that the provincial government was prepared to pay some of the money owed by motorists to ensure the tolling system was scrapped.
Mboweni fired off a series of tweets saying that there should have been a plan at the introduction of e-tolls to ensure the system worked and yielded returns in the long term.
Mboweni incited public ire when he tweeted “I don’t know why the middle and upper classes in Gauteng want to complicate our lives. The working class do not pay e-tolls!! Public transport! Hello…”. Motorists and public transport users disagreed with the sentiment.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula waded in, saying President Cyril Ramaphosa instructed that a meeting be held to discuss a way forward, rather than debating the matter over Twitter.