Avis supports e-toll, sees positive impact

Avis Southern Africa acknowledged the “positive impact” of tolls in Gauteng on Tuesday.

The company, where Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) chairman Wayne Duvenage used to work, said it would continue to support upgrades to roads countrywide.

“The introduction of e-tolls in Gauteng will be a new experience for us all,” Avis rent-a-car Southern Africa CEO Keith Rankin said in a statement.

“However, we have invested significantly in our systems and people to ensure that our customers’ Avis rental experience will continue to be as seamless as possible as they are our greatest asset.”

Avis had installed e-tags in its national fleet and had developed the necessary IT systems to ensure that any e-toll fees incurred by its customers during the rental period would be included in their final invoice.

A final invoice would be available only two days after the vehicle was returned and would highlight the total e-toll amount, the company said.

“Avis will charge the standard e-toll tariff, per e-toll gantry, to a monthly maximum value of R450 as published in the Government Gazette,” it said.

“The standard tariff, which is higher than the tariff paid by registered e-tag users, is being charged to enable Avis to recover the costs of implementing systems and resources to manage e-toll compliance.”

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters announced on Wednesday that e-tolling on Gauteng’s highways would begin on December 3.

Duvenage, who was former CEO of Avis, said it was always going to be difficult for companies to defy e-tolls.

He said if car rental companies had to choose between a fuel levy or e-tolls, he was certain they would choose the fuel levy.

“They are under pressure… so I don’t blame them for not going against e-tolls,” he said.

Duvenage resigned as Avis rent-a-car CEO last June. He said his relationship with the company remained strong.

Earlier this month, the Democratic Alliance and the Freedom Front Plus announced they would each bring high court applications to fight the constitutionality of the e-toll bill President Jacob Zuma signed in September.

A legal challenge to e-tolling by Outa was dismissed by the Supreme Court of Appeal on October 9.

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Avis supports e-toll, sees positive impact