Civil rights organisation, AfriForum, today submitted a legal opinion to the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) in terms of which the proposed tolling tariffs are contravening the Sanral Act (No 7 of 1998) as part of the organisation's official comments on the tariff notification on the tolling of Gauteng highways.
AfriForum's legal opinion indicates, among others, that Section 27(3) of the Sanral Act does not make provision for the creation of a category of road users based on the payment mechanism road users prefer. The so-called "penalty tariff" targeting those who do not register for e-toll or with Sanral, is therefore unlawful.
Section 27(1) of the Sanral Act also provides that toll fees must be paid 'by the person who drives or uses the vehicle.' The e-tolling system, in terms of which the owner of a vehicle and not the driver thereof is registered for tolling, falls outside the ambit of the Act, according to AfriForum's legal opinion.
According to AfriForum CEO, Kallie Kriel, his organisation was ready to contest the tariff notice in court should OUTA not be successful in its court application against the tolling system in its entirety and should Sanral continue to implement the proposed tariff notification.
AfriForum's full legal opinion is available at www.afriforum.co.za
Kriel appealed to motorists not to register for e-tolling and to wait for the outcome of the OUTA court application and AfriForum's planned legal action against the tariffs, before taking a decision in this regard.
According to Kriel, AfriForum has also decided not to register vehicles used for the organisation's purposes for e-tolling. 'If there are sufficient numbers of motorists who in protest don't register either, it would force the authorities to rethink the e-tolling system as a non-cost effective recovery mechanism,' Kriel added.