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The South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) says motorists without e-tags should pay their e-toll bills at the earliest opportunity to avoid losing out on their discounts.

SANRAL communications manager Vusi Mona said almost one million registered motorists qualify for the monthly e-toll bill cap.

“When you register your vehicle and obtain an e-tag, you enjoy the benefit of a 48% discount and other discounts such as time of day and frequent user discounts. The maximum amount that you can be charged for a Class A2 vehicle is R450 per month.

“However, when you do not have an e-tag, you do not get all these benefits and if you do not pay within the stipulated seven days, there is an additional cost, which could be three times the standard tariff, incurred,” he said.

Mona said non-registered users, who pay before certain cut-off dates, will receive discounts on their e-toll bills.

He said a road user, who has not paid within the seven days grace period from the date of first gantry pass, will qualify for a 60% discount on the invoice amount if s/he pays within 30 days of the invoice date.

Mona reiterated that the courts have declared the e-toll system lawful. “SANRAL has always been upfront about the toll tariff structure. There is the e-tag tariff (paid by registered e-tag users), the standard tariff (for road users who are not registered, but pay within the 7 days grace period) and the alternate user tariff (paid by road users after expiry of the 7 days grace period),” he said.

According to Mona, the fee collection process can be divided into three stages: the seven day grace period, the debt collection process by the Violations Processing Centre and the prosecution using the Criminal Procedure Act.

The last stage kicks in after there has been no cooperation from the road user following SANRAL’s final letter of demand.

“It is unfortunate that there are some who have been encouraging road users not to obtain e-tags, which is their right, but such road users are now saddled with huge amounts of outstanding toll fees because they have neither e-tagged nor paid within the 7 days grace period. Clearly, those who advised road users not to get e-tags must take responsibility.

“Getting an e-tag is the way to go. It is just the easier and cheaper way. If you’re not registered, pay within seven days and the discounts will kick in and you will not get SMS reminders from SANRAL,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za