Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Outa: 71% of Gauteng motorists still untagged

Feb 12 2014 07:52

(Picture: Sapa)

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Cape Town - Seventy-one percent of Gauteng motorists do not have e-tage, said the Opposition for Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa).

A survey carried out by Outa shows that 71% of its second "statistically sound" sample size of 2 700 vehicles - counted during peak hour traffic at nine different on/off ramps during early February, three month into the system - did not have e-tags fitted.

This, said Outa in a statement, is an indication that "freeway users are largely steadfast and exercising strong levels of civil courage by not getting e-tagged to the levels required by Sanral (the SA National Roads Agency Limited)".

Outa’s previous research finding on December 12 2013 (within two weeks of the gantries going live) was that 15% of users had bought into the system.

"Those were the early start up days and we knew the number would climb in the first few months; however, with Sanral’s threatening behaviour we expected the e-tag uptake to be much higher by now,” said Outa spokesperson John Clarke.

“Despite Sanral’s intimidation tactics, Outa has been pleasently surprised at the civil courage of Gauteng citizens who have largely resisted and displayed a relatively low e-tag uptake,” said Clarke.

He added that compliance levels have to be well over the 85% level to indicate successful implementation of e-tolling. With less than a third of freeway users tagged up at this stage, Outa believes the system is headed for failure, "as it has in many parts of the world under even more favourable conditions".

"Clearly, Sanral’s multi-million rand marketing scheme has failed to inspire public confidence in their systems, which, compounded by security breaches, offensive remarks by their spokesperson, misleading statements, chaotic billing and erroneous data have done extreme harm to the legitimacy of the system,” said Outa.

President Jacob Zuma recently said Sanral e-toll billing mistakes are "unacceptable", which prompted Sanral CEO Nazir Alli to promise swift remedial action.

"However, complaints coming to Outa and other social media sites have not abated, with large fleet owners and logistic companies now adding their voices of concern and anger at the cumbersome adminisration and high cost impact that e-tolling is having on business," said Outa.

With President Zuma facing the most difficult year in his entire political career, "he doesn’t need the e-tolling albatross also hanging around his neck", said Outa.

"Outa calls on the president to display some civil courage in his State of the Nation speech on Thursday, by calling off the ill-conceived e-tolling system."

Zuma would do well to heed calls from Outa, trade union Cosatu and other bodies "to decontaminate the toxic public/political space ahead of the upcoming general election", said Outa.

"Admitting mistakes doesn’t come naturally to politicians and if President Zuma has aspirations to strong statesmanship, that is what he should do."

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What Will Happen if you Can’t/Don’t/Won’t Pay Etoll Charges?

(Written by Debt Management ( for those who Can’t/Don’t/Won’t Pay Etoll
Charges). Thank you NewERA (

Tony Webbstock is a practicing attorney and has been for 30 years. This is what he has to say about

1. Are Etoll Charges an Example of Bad Government?

1.1. Politicians (especially those chosen by majority rule) should consult with the citizens before
they foist such high charges on them without 1st checking that they can afford them.

1.2. This is the basic problem of democracy - politicians are elected to do the will of the majority
but end up (start off?) serving hidden interests!

1.3. That they have committed the nation’s savings to this hair-brained scheme is nothing short of

1.4. Who benefits? The Etoll System is an example of someone else other than the taxpayers
benefitting from the tax!

2. Can’t Pay?

2.1. 2/3 of South African consumers (12 million out of 18 million) are unable to make their current
monthly repayments to Creditors as agreed: See the article Rate Cut May be Too Late which
appeared in The Sunday Independent 22nd March 2009 on page 3: “Another survey by
Unisa’s bureau for economic research found that for every R10.00 earned, at least R8.40
was spent on debt owed to financial institutions.

2.1.1. Can you run your finances after R8.40 out of every R10.00 (-ie- 16c out of every R1.00 left
to you) has been paid to Creditors?

2.1.2. Did the Government consider the inability of motorists to afford the Etoll System before

2.1.3. It is fair to say that South Africans can’t pay more taxes!
3. Don’t Pay?

3.1. Now that the Etoll System is rolling from 12/2013, expect an invoice to roll in every 7 days –
beginning, middle and end of every month – month after month, year after year, without 1
iota of consideration having been given to your monthly budget (more money at the
beginning of the month and less thereafter if you are balancing you budget).

3.2. If you don’t pay each invoice within the 7 day grace period then you lose the discounts
making it a nightmare for the Etoll System to give itemised accounts to say nothing about
your ability to keep track of what you owe them from time to time!

4. Won”t Pay!

4.1. You know that there is something wrong with the Etoll System but, other than the exorbitant
Etoll Charges, you can’t quite put your finger on it.

4.2. You feel uncomfortable with civil disobedience because you don’t know what will happen if
you Can’t/Don’t/Won’t Pay Etoll Charges!

5. Non-payment of Etoll Charges is the Equivalent of the Non-Payment of a Traffic Fine:
5.1. Can you go to Jail if you Can’t/Don’t/Won’t Pay Etoll Charges? Debtors cannot be jailed for
non-payment of debt - see Coetzee v Government of the Republic of South Africa; Matiso
and Others v Commanding Officer, Port Elizabeth Prison, and Others 1995 (4) SA 631 (CC).
You can be arrested for failing to appear at a Section 65 (Debtor’s) Enquiry if the Notice
Appear at Court is served upon you and you ignore it, but only to be brought to Court.

5.2. Fines: The current fine system in use – infringement notices, etc - applies to the nonpayment

of Etoll Charges. It is unlikely that fines will be issued for failing to pay Etoll Charges
as we already have a system which cannot carry the administrative weight to do this. In any
event fines don’t have to be paid unless a court gives them! And a court won’t give them
unless you have received notice to appear in court either:

5.2.1. Personally; or
5.2.2. By registered post.

5.3. Metro Police Involvement: Metro Police hardly have the money to print fine books let alone
notices to appear in court. In the latter event, should they do this, the Traffic Courts will be
clogged and the civil defences set out below will still apply.

5.4. Withholding of Licences: Unless fines are given by court and then not paid, the licensing
authorities cannot refuse to withhold the issuing of vehicle licences as is the case at present.
5.5. Collection of Etoll Charges in Traffic (so-called Criminal) Courts: Sanral is trying to create the
impression that it will endeavour to collect outstanding Etoll Charges in the Traffic Courts,
but there is no provision in the Aarto (Traffic) Act to enable this.

5.6. Section 30 of the Sanral Act: In terms of this section, Sanral will have to sue non-payers for
payment of the then outstanding balances on their Etoll Charges in the civil courts.

6. What can You do if You Can’t/Don’t/Won’t Pay Etoll Charges but have to Use the

6.1. Must road users who Can’t/Don’t/Won’t Pay Etoll Charges stop using the highways when
there are no viable alternative routes?

6.2. Our government has:

6.2.1. Hijacking the Highways: The highways are part of our heritage! Those who Can’t pay
the Etoll Charges have effectively been terrorised by the high charges into thinking
that they can’t use them!

6.2.2. Taxing the Air: If the politicians decide to tax the air without consulting us and without
providing an alternative source, must current air users who can’t pay the air tax stop

6.2.3. Squeezing the Golden Goose: Gauteng is the hub of South African commerce. Look
at the number of vehicles that use the highways each day. Consider the exorbitant
Etoll Charges that motorists have to pay each day on top of their existing Monthly
Necessary Expenses!

6.2.4. Zimbabwe here we Come: We have seen the damage 1 clown at play can do to a
nation in 20 short years proving that it is far easier to break an engine than build it up!

7. Defences to a Claim by Sanral for Non-Payment of Etoll Charges:

7.1. The Can’t Pay Defence:

7.1.1. Action instituted against those who can’t pay Etoll Charges having regard to their
Monthly Income & Expenditure / Assets & Liability Form, can’t pay Etoll Charges! This
fact does not change by virtue of the fact that action is instituted.

7.1.2. The fact that they cannot pay does not mean that they must stop using the highways!
It just means that they cannot pay to do so!

7.2. The Affordable Repayment Defence:

7.2.1. Having regard to some road users’ budgets, it will appear at a Section 65 (Debtor’s)
Financial Enquiry that some of those who Can’t/Don’t/Won’t Pay Etoll Charges can in
fact pay something towards the outstanding Etoll account at that time.

7.2.2. This can take up to 4(four) years to appear at the enquiry.

7.2.3. In the meanwhile, and thereafter, the Etoll debtors can continue using the highways!

7.3. The National Credit Act Defence:

7.3.1. Sanral is a credit provider as defined under the NC
7.3.2. Sanral enters into a credit agreement as defined under the NCA with road users
(consumers) without enquiring into their proposed future use of the Etoll System; or their financial abilities to pay for Etoll Charges whether discounted or not;

7.3.3. Entering into an agreement with consumers would be Reckless Lending on the part of

7.3.4. Consumers who can’t/don’t/won’t pay Etoll Charges can’t enter into Sanral credit
agreements knowing that they won’t be able to pay same and so making themselves
parties to Reckless Lending. This could lead to them losing the Reckless Lending
penalties under the NCA.

7.4. The Consumer Protection Act Defence:

7.4.1. Section 48 of the CPA provides that
(1) A supplier must not—
(a) offer to supply, supply, or enter into an agreement to supply, any goods or

(i) at a price that is unfair, unreasonable or unjust; or
(ii) on terms that are unfair, unreasonable or unjust;

(b) market any goods or services, or negotiate, enter into or administer a
transaction or an agreement for the supply of any goods or services, in a
manner that is unfair, unreasonable or unjust; or

(c) require a consumer, or other person to whom any goods or services are
supplied at the direction of the consumer—

(i) to waive any rights;

(ii) assume any obligation; or

(iii) waive any liability of the supplier,

on terms that are unfair, unreasonable or unjust, or impose any such terms as a
condition of entering into a transaction.

7.4.2. Are Etolls Unjust/Unfair/Unreasonable? Sanral’s service, charges and discounts contravene Section 48(a), (b) or (c)
of the CPA; Consumers cannot enter into Sanral’s credit agreements without a financial
enquiry being held havng regard to their proposed road use! There are many billing errors that Sanral can’t / doesn’t correct! The Etoll System violates the basic toll road principle that viable alternative
routes must be provided; No provision has been made for those road users who can’t afford the
service! The main arterial routes are involved! The Etoll Charges are exorbitant! The Etoll Charges are unaffordable to most road users; It is a private tax system, not a government tax system; No details regarding who benefits behind the system have been given; The payment periods are unreasonable; The discount system of attempted collection is extortionate;

7.5. The Prescription Defence:

7.5.1. Etoll Charges from 12/2013 will begin to prescribe in 12/2016 (3 years later) if you
don’t make payment on your account during this period; and

7.5.2. Thereafter, Etoll Charges will become extinguished (ie- become Prescribed (Non-
Existent) Debt after the 3 year period on a month by month basis for which you

cannot be sued (if you have not made a single payment during this period!).

7.5.3. Payment made after 12/2016 in respect of the Etoll Charges that have prescribed
cannot revive Prescribed (Non-Existent) Debt!

7.5.4. Any payment made before 12/2016 will interrupt (re-start the running of) prescription
in terms of Section 14 of the Prescription Act from the beginning –ie- from 12/2013.;

7.6. The Failure to Send out an Invoice Defence:

7.6.1. Sanral must follow road use with an invoice sent out within 7 days setting out their
charges before the charges become due and a road user becomes liable for the
payment of Etoll Charges.
7.6.2. Sanral are sending out invoices by ordinary post;
7.6.3. How is Sanral going to prove that they sent out invoices at all if receipt is denied?
7.6.4. The postal service is notoriously unreliable!
7.7. The Itemised Account Defence:
7.7.1. The Etoll System is cumbersome to say the least! Considering Sanral trying to keep
up with it all, it would have been easier for them to disrupt road users by manual tolls
here and there.
7.7.2. However, to collect Sanral will have to prove – on a gantry by gantry basis: : road usage; and levies; and invoice posting; and payment; and discount; and discount write back; and running balance; and collection attendances, inter alia.
7.7.3. This is enough to keep them busy. See paragraph #8.2 below.
8. Suggested Steps to be Followed by those Who Can’t/Don’t/Won’t Pay Etoll Charges:
8.1. Stick to your Decision Not to Pay: see the above Prescription Defence in paragraph #7.5
above. Once you make payment without a court order – see paragraph #7.1 and 7.2 above -
prescription is interrupted and must start again.
8.2. Sanral Can’t/Won’t Sue those who Can’t/Don’t/Won’t Pay Etoll Charges:
8.2.1. Sanral is geared up to follow the usual Informal Collection Proceedings like sms’,
letters, invoices, etc.
8.2.2. On top of what Sanral has to do to collect its day to day Etoll Charges set out in
#7.7.2 above, it is not geared up to sue consumers who Can’t/Don’t/Won’t Pay Etoll
8.2.3. Sanral will have to sell their unpaid accounts to debt collection companies who are
better able to collect;
8.2.4. These debt collection companies cannot buy better rights than Sanral has at the time
of sale and the same defences as set out above will still apply to their collection
8.2.5. So Debt Collectors will try in turn to bamboozle the poor consumer by the usual
Informal Collection Proceedings like telephone calls, unbelievable settlement offers
and scare / threat tactics into making payment of Prescribed (Non-Existent) Debt! As
Outa president Duvenhage said recently – it’s a circus!

8.3. Every Formal Collection Proceeding – whether by Sanral or a debt collection company -
should be defended using one or more of the defences set out above.

8.4. Don’t sign anything now or in the future no matter what they tell

you –eg – that you have to
sign by law / that it is only a letter to say that they saw you / that they will lock you up, etc.
They are trying to get you to sign an acknowledgement of debt or a Garnishee (Salary
Deduction) Order. It is easier not to sign now than it is to rectify later!

9. Humpty Dumty

9.1. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall!, All the king's horses and all
the King's men, Couldn't put Humpty together again....

9.2. It is going to be interesting to see how Government, good or bad, tries to put Humpty
together again considering the Rat Cage Effect:

9.2.1. Only businesses will pay Etoll Charges consistently because they think that they will
be able to increase their product prices to recover Etoll Charges from those who
Can’t/Don’t/Won’t Pay Etoll Charges and from those few who do but are now a good
deal poorer;

9.2.2. Sales will dip sharply – called stagflation – and businesses will have to increase
prices to keep their turnovers the same to balance their books (now with Etoll
Charges daarby!)
9.2.3. Investors will see profits eaten into and will withdraw their investments;

9.2.4. The Rand will drop further against our trading partners making imports more
expensive which will force importers in turn to increase their prices which will force
businesses to increase their prices in turn and so on;

9.3. It’s a merry-go-round within a circus!

9.4. All things considered, it’s easier to submit to Jesus and follow his advice (2 Chronicles 7:14)
than it is to write this wrong!

10. What is the Solution to a Whole Bunch of Clowns playing on a Merry-go-round in a Circus?

10.1. Don’t give up! Never give up!

10.2. On 5th May 2008, President Zuma said that the ANC would rule until Jesus returns! Writer

10.3. Jesus is the Messiah / the Christ / the Saviour who rode into Jerusalem on a donkey in
fulfilment of the ancient prophecy contained in Zechariah

9.9. Any future claimant to the
title Messiah / the Christ / the Saviour will have to do likewise – which is unlikely to say the

10.4. Jesus will return with a great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12.1) to rule & reign for the
benefit of the rich and the poor for 1000 years (Revelation 20/.6)!

11. What Will Happen if you Can’t/Don’t/Won’t Pay Other B-Creditor Debt?

11.1. Always remember - your 1st duty to you and your family is to protect your A-Creditors like
bond, vehicle and mother-in-law!

11.2. For more information on how to do so -

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