Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) frowns at the recent Sanral’s summonses to Gauteng motorists who fail to pay their e-tolls describing the idea as bureaucratic bullying and social harassment.
Earlier this week, South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) announced that it has given the order to sheriffs in different regions across Gauteng to start issuing out summonses and focus mainly on high level offenders. As announced, the summonses will be delivered by sheriffs in charge of different jurisdictions.
The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa), kicked against the summonses after several failed attempts to declare the e-tolling system operations as illegal.
Speaking for the trade union, Sizwe Pamla said, “We view it as an extreme form of bullying so we reject and denounce it because the fact that they are now resorting to legal traps is a result of their own fault to implement a policy that was unanimously rejected by the citizens of Gauteng.”
However, the announcement made by Sanral had the option of taking the matter to court if you are not comfortable with the receipt of summonses over outstanding e-toll fees. Sanral’s summonses, as disclosed, plans to target high level offenders which may include companies with accumulated debt.
Speaking for Sanral, Vusi Mona said; “they still have an opportunity, when they receive a summons, to say they change their minds and say ‘we will come forward and pay and we’re interested and taking up a 60 percent discount’. If they ignore, we will seek a judgment; and if they want to entrust it in court then we will meet in a court of law.”
Meanwhile, the Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) revealed that road agency is not entirely safe in this decision as there are lots of factors that could work against the agency if motorists decide to take Sanral’s summonses to court. The whole e-tolling system could collapse if Sanral loses to motorists in court.
The use of unapproved cameras on e-toll gantries as well as several billing inaccuracies could threaten Sanral’s credibility in court.