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East Rand company fears closure over e-toll bill battle

Owner Verna Naidoo fears that after 20 years, his company will go bust as the e-toll bills are piling up and have now reached almost R2 million.

FILE: An e-toll gantry on the N1 in Johannesburg.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – An East Rand company which will be part of a so-called test case in the ongoing battle over the payment of e-tolls has described to Eyewitness News how it will have to shut its doors if South African National Road Agency Limited (Sanral) succeeds.

Civil rights group Outa has taken up Thandanani Transport’s case to challenge the roads agency in court.

The Edenvale based company, which employs 30 people, is one of over 1,000 businesses and individuals that Outa is representing in similar cases.

Four of them are set to come before the courts next year.

Outa wants the court to rule on the constitutionality of e-tolls, as well as the legalities surrounding the issuing of invoices and summonses.

WATCH: E-tolls: To scrap or not to scrap?

Thandanani Transport’s business is centred around moving heavy machinery using the country’s major highways.

The frequency of these trips has meant e-toll bills are piling up and have now reached almost R2 million.

Owner Verna Naidoo fears that after 20 years, the company will go bust.

“How the hell am I supposed to survive in a situation like this? If I’ve to pay, I’ll consider closing my business.”

In 2016, Naidoo received a summons for a R400,000 e-toll bill which he couldn’t afford to settle.

Naidoo was in for an even bigger shock when he realised how the costs had ballooned in the last two years.

“So I’m legally bound to something. I’d have to do what I’ve to do. So, hopefully Outa will work hard on this case against e-tolling.”

E-tolls remain a contentious issue across the political divide which has also pitted the national government against the Gauteng African National Congress and its alliance partners.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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