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Sanral wants certainty around legality of e-tolls

Sanral's Vusi Mona says a case manager has been appointed in the High Court to make sure there is progress on the e-tolls test case.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) says it wants certainty around the legality of e-tolls as debt collection continues to take a sharp decline.

December will mark five years since the introduction of the controversial system which has been beset with problems including civil disobedience, political squabbles and confusion around its sustainability.

Sanral has issued over 15,000 summonses to companies and individuals in a bid to recoup toll fees.

More than 1,000 of these cases are being challenged with the help of the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) and a test case will come before the courts next year.

Sanral's Vusi Mona has told Eyewitness News a case manager has been appointed in the High Court to make sure there is progress on the e-tolls test case.

“For as long as we’re not collecting, it is impacting negatively on our finances, so we’d like to see this settled as soon as possible.”

For now, the case will centre around four companies, one of which is facing a bill of almost R8 million.

Outa's Wayne Duvenage says: “Some of them have paid in the past, they got so frustrated that they couldn’t reconcile their accounts and said, ‘this is enough, we can’t carry on, we’re stopping payment.’”

The matter is expected to be heard in the High Court next year, but a specific date has not yet been set.

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

POLITICAL PARTIES AND E-TOLLS

Sanral says messages from political parties around e-tolls have had a direct negative impact on revenue collection.

Parties including the African National Congress and Democratic Alliance have called for the entire system to be scrapped, citing affordability and legal loopholes in the implementation among others.

Mona says the financial implications are far-reaching.

“Every time there is confusion or calls by influential people for society not to pay, our collections take a dip.”

He has echoed the sentiment of both the Transport and Finance ministers that for as long as e-tolling is government policy, motorists must adhere to the law.