The tolling of major highways in Gauteng has been a sticking point ever since it was introduced a couple of years ago, but up to this point nobody has ever been brought before a court for refusing to pay their etoll bill.
If Sanral, the state-appointed company in charge of running it, gets its way, it will start to issue summonses to defaulters, starting with people and companies who owe the most.
“Road users who have persistently refused to settle their etoll debt may receive civil summonses from Sanral over the next few days,” Sanral said in a statement.
It explained that the first set of civil summonses to individuals is being delivered by sheriffs in different jurisdictions in Gauteng.
“The summonses will also include higher value summonses of mostly companies. Due to the amount owed in these cases, the summons has to be managed by the High Court,” said Alex van Niekerk, Project Manager for the GFIP.
Sanral says that it arrived at the decision to start issuing summonses after “an extensive period of communications between Sanral and vehicle owners” who didn’t pay previous tolls.
“Sanral has a responsibility towards the country and the thousands of compliant vehicle owners who regularly pay their e-toll accounts to recover the outstanding debt from defaulters,” says Van Niekerk.
He added that Sanral, as the company appointed by the government for the running of the etolls project, has an obligation to act.
“The global ratings agencies and the investment community are also looking towards Sanral and expect from us to demonstrate our commitment to financial responsibility and high standards of corporate governance.”[Image – CC by 2.o/Axel Bührmann]