Sanral is issuing new summonses despite e-toll scheme’s failure, Outa says
Outa is handling 170 cases against Sanral on behalf of the public, and says court proceedings on the first case are under way to determine the constitutionality the e-tolling system
Lobby group the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) says it is concerned that there is still continued harassment and bullying of motorists by the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral).
"Outa is receiving numerous calls from members of the public on a daily basis‚ informing the organisation of summonses being received due to the nonpayment of e-tolls. This clearly indicates that Sanral have started to issue a new round of summonses‚ despite their acknowledgment that the e-toll scheme has failed to meet its aims and objectives of financing the freeway upgrade‚" Rudie Heyneke‚ the portfolio manager for transport at Outa‚ said on Wednesday.
He said earlier this week‚ the High Court in Pretoria overturned a judgment obtained by Sanral against an e-toll defaulter. The defendant‚ Local Freight Services‚ applied for a rescission of the judgement obtained by Sanral‚ which did not oppose this application and subsequently‚ the judgment was overturned.
"This is a gross abuse of taxpayers’ money and a waste of time‚ when the public have to get judgments overturned that were wrongly obtained in the first place‚" Heyneke said.
The organisation says it is currently handling 170 cases against Sanral on behalf of the public. It says court proceedings on the first case are well under way to determine the constitutionality and validity of the e-tolling system.
Legal representatives for Sanral and Outa have been in talks since 2016 on a possible test case of the e-tolling system in Gauteng. Outa sought to defend its members who received summonses from Sanral for nonpayment of e-toll debt.
In April talks between Sanral and Outa broke down. Outa blamed the breakdown on Sanral‚ saying the road agency was intentionally obstructive because it knew that the e-toll system was "implemented illegally".
But Sanral argued that it was Outa that caused the breakdown in negotiations, as the civil group did not negotiate the terms of the agreement for the test case in good faith.