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E-TOLL: Forced to Pay?

 <img src="e-toll.jpg" alt="E-toll" width="300" height="191">

Reduced E-Toll Fees

Heated debates over e-toll fees arose yet again after Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent announcement on lowering E-Toll tariffs. Surely those are all valued arguments and meanings. Vastly contradictory, none the less! This is no easy matter to deal with or even try to dissolve. Although still not widely positively accepted according to Mari Harris‚ Ipsos’s director of public affairs, the e-toll tariffs were substantially decreased, such as with outstanding fees. Toll fees for light vehicles were reduced from 58 to 30 cents per kilometre with a R225 monthly capped fee, which will surely bring relief. This is a topic still to be discussed in times to come though, as long as the current e-toll system stays in place. 

E-Toll Fees: Roads or Nkandla

What are we paying for? Why are we paying taxes then, as was asked in a recent article? Surely taxes should be utilized towards really important causes such as the building and up keeping of our roads, not to mention education and medical care. Aside from the new and wonderful Gauteng roads with the florescent e-toll gantries (why are they constantly still working on these roads!), most other roads across our country are in horrible shape. No-one notices the beautiful scenery anymore while you zigzag from side to side trying to miss the worst of the numerous potholes.

A large number of the citizens in South Africa, from all races and walks of life seem really unhappy over the whole Nkandla debacle. No wonder this surfaces in e-toll discussions as well. The problem might not be about paying toll fees as such, but most likely because how it was implemented. E-toll started out under a dark cloud of so called tender irregularities, politically linked companies and public confusion and is still struggling to survive. Most citizens would pay their taxes and do their part without any complain though, as long the money isn’t misused, “misplaced” or wrongly directed.

Toll Roads as old as Time Itself

This is no new concept at all. We read about the (described as really bad and greedy, though) tax collectors on the roads in Biblical times. Even though we are a “one of a kind” country, as depicted in the television advert with our load shedding, car guards, etc, many other countries also have toll roads for many years now.

Forced to pay E-Toll Fees?

The roads are there and somebody has to pay for it. A way has to be found beneficial to and accepted by all roll players. So what now? There is a possibility that you won’t be able to renew your vehicle licence if there are outstanding e-toll fees. This in turn could pose another problem of unlicensed vehicles on our roads. Then there are the whispers that some insurance companies won’t pay out any claims for unlicensed vehicles. These would surely help to force motorists to pay their e-toll bills. Needless to say, this remains a sticky situation which will hopefully be resolved in a democratic, just and fair manner.