Road users who have persistently refused to settle their e-toll debt may receive civil summonses from SANRAL over the next few days.
The South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited announced 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,” says Alex van Niekerk, Project Manager for the GFIP.
The decision to issue summonses comes at the end of an extensive period of communications between SANRAL and vehicle owners who neglected to pay outstanding debts – it is a natural conclusion to the process.
Since the introduction of the 60% discount of e-toll debt in November 2015 SANRAL has made it quite clear that it will also introduce a process of debt collection against serial defaulters.
The Electronic Toll Collection company (ETC) who run the system on behalf of SANRAL, have reiterated and amplified this, not only through the media but also directly to individuals through phone calls, e-mails and SMS messages.
“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.
“We have 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.
A civil summons must not be confused with criminal proceedings. It is similar to not have paying any commercial accounts and should not be confused with a criminal case.