The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has called on people and businesses to stop paying e-tolls, which will force the government to cancel the scheme.
This statement comes after Sanral suggested various ways they intend to force motorists to pay their outstanding e-toll bills to the Parliamentary Committee on Transport.
Outa said Sanral’s recent suggestion that vehicle licences should be withheld because of e-toll debt is “ludicrous and illegal”.
Apart from withholding licences, Sanral has also hinted at having SARS act as their collection agents.
“The impact of using coercive tactics such as blocking vehicle relicensing or vehicle sales to force the payment of e-tolls will have negative unintended consequences,” Outa said.
“It will drag the already cash-strapped municipalities into the e-toll fight. It will impact negatively on local government’s revenue streams and policing processes.”
Outa said it will engage with its legal advisors and the public to challenge these developments.
Stop paying e-tolls now – Outa
Outa now calls on the last remaining people and businesses who make up the 25% of Gauteng Freeway users who continue to keep the e-toll system on life support to stop paying.
“The handful of companies – mainly large corporate entities – who appear to be afraid to cross swords with the government are the main reason that the e-toll scheme continues to limp along,” Outa said.
“With approximately R60 million income per month that is barely managing to cover the collection process.”
Outa said “if and when a few more of these large corporate entities exercise moral courage to join the rest of society, the government will have no choice but to cancel the scheme.”
E-toll test case
In related news, Netwerk24 reported that the first e-toll test case will be heard in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
According to the report, the test case will involve the transport company Thandanani Packers & Hauliers which owes R400,000 in e-toll bills.
According to the company it cannot afford e-tolls, and if they were forced to pay this money the business will need to close.
Outa said the case will focus on the overall legality of the e-tolls system and will be used for the main dispute of the overall “legality challenges” to the e-tolls system itself.
The legal team for the supporters of Outa wanted Sanral to suspend enforcement of all other e-toll legal claims against motorists, but Sanral’s team would not agree to this.
“Sanral’s lawyers said a general stay could not be agreed whilst road users were being encouraged not to pay e-tolls,” Outa said.
Sanral added that it would continue to issue a significant number of summonses and proceed with e-toll claims.