What could possibly make the forthcoming etolls – the electronically administered tolls about to be activated on Gauteng highways – less popular than they are now? How about giving the controversial road fees their own courts to facilitate the fast processing of fines and criminal procedures against those who refuse to pay?
Yeah, that’d do it. According to the Beeld newspaper today, and reported by SAPA, Justice Department spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga acknowledged that special courts for processing charges against non-payers had been discussed, but “We are still talking about what would be the best method”.
The paper says that the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance, OUTA, reckons up to 70,000 fines could be issued daily once etolls come in to force – which the Department of Transport says will be this side of Christmas. After two attempts to collect, SANRAL will pass them on to the National Prosecuting Authority to deal with as a criminal offence. It makes sense that someone might have suggested special courts when considering this problem – we’ll just have to wait and see how seriously the proposal was taken.