News article on eTolls misleading

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi has distanced himself from the content of the front page article reported in “The Star” newspaper.

The article, which appeared in the newspaper on Monday, states that government has proposed new laws following the dismal failure of e-tolling revenue collection from Gauteng motorists, who owe more than R6 billion in unpaid tolls. 

The Department of Transport said the article is disingenuous and misleads the public about government’s position on the tolling policy, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) Act and the National Land Transport Act. 

“It is the understanding of the department that the proposed amendment is by the DA Member of Parliament, Manny de Freitas, and will be raised as a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament.

“Presenting the bill as an initiative of the department, the Executive and SANRAL is both mischievous and misleading,” the department said.

During the department’s 2017/18 Budget Vote, Minister Maswanganyi indicated that SANRAL is in the process of developing a long term strategy, Horizon 2030, aligned with the National Development Plan. 

The strategy will enable the development of a 2030 Roads Plan and will review SANRAL’s Operating Model.

Also, the new strategy will trigger the development of a new Toll Roads Policy which the Department of Transport will lead. 

“Wayne Duvenage is also economic with the truth when he insinuates that e-Natis has failed. He knows that government has been in control of e-Natis following the Constitutional Court ruling in favour of the Department of Transport.

“The department has since taken the decision that the Road Traffic Management Cooperation (RTMC) is the preferred entity to take over the running of the system from Tasima,” the department said.

The Court pronouncement on the 9th November 2016 granted the Department of Transport and the RTMC leave to terminate the illegal and irregular extension of the Tasima contract. 

On 7 April 2017, the Gauteng High Court confirmed the ruling of the Constitutional Court in favour of the Department of Transport. 

“The RTMC has since May 3rd 2015 been ready to administer National Traffic Information and Vehicle Management System (eNATIS). Their state of readiness has unreasonably been delayed and denied by the contractor who employed tactics informed by their desire to siphon off money from the State,” the department said.

The implementation of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) continues in the municipalities of Tshwane and Johannesburg and preparations for the national implementation are underway.

The Agency is consulting the stakeholders to put in place systems and operations required to ensure successful national implementation of AARTO. 

These systems relate to the administrative processes of the capturing of infringement notices, development of the interfaces to upload the results of the infringement notices from printing, postage to delivery and collection by the infringer. 

“To this end  AARTO education and awareness campaigns were conducted, establishment of 264 payment platforms and activation of 64 legislative education and advocacy campaigns on AARTO to empower road users about their rights as well as the importance of complying with the road traffic laws,” the department said. 

AARTO legislative review process is at the final stages in parliament and envisaged to be assented into law during the 2017/18 financial year.

The identified amendments will enhance the legislative framework of AARTO, as well as entrenching the security of the administrative adjudication process by closing the glaring loopholes currently existing in the Act.  –

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