The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA), notes with interest, SANRAL’s latest round of threats to summons e-toll defaulters, which is selective and confined to a civil claim against high value corporate organisations.
Two years ago, SANRAL sent out their first threats of criminal summons, however, that was put to bed when SANRAL realized they had no basis for criminalizing e-toll defaulters who’s case could be easily defended. A lot of time has since passed, with significant and additional aspects of defence can and will be raised in a collateral challenge on the unlawfulness of the e-Toll declarations.
SANRAL’s decision to tackle the high value, corporate defaulters, on the basis of a civil charge, is questionable, in that this angle is generally one taken on disputes of a contractual nature. It would appear then that companies and people who may therefore be at risk of a summons, are those who have signed SANRAL’s e-toll contracts in the past and have now defaulted on these. However, even in this situation, we know that many businesses would have initially signed these agreements under duress of SANRAL’s initial threats of criminal prosecution and they will have a strong chance to defend their their rights of ceasing to pay for the unjust e-toll scheme.
“We know of many businesses and individuals who have paid up and cancelled their agreements with SANRAL and by doing so, have joined the other 80 to 90% of the road-users who are not paying” says Wayne Duvenage, the Chairperson of the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA). “We estimate that between 60 and 70% of all Gauteng Road-users have never signed up or ever paid. They have very valid arguments to defend themselves and we believe are not at risk. OUTA’s contributing members also feel safer as they fall under our e-Toll Defence Umbrella, whereby we will defend them in the event of a summons,”
OUTA believe there can be no consensus for e-Toll defaulters, as there is no agreement between the parties and furthermore, if the road user considers the premise for SANRAL’s one sided agreement to be invalid due to the unlawful declaration of the roads as tolled roads, we fail to understand how SANRAL can bring a civil claim against the road users, ” says Duvenage. “Furthermore, the fact that SANRAL have determined the liability of the user in terms of their equipment that has not been approved, verified, certified and re-certified in South Africa in accordance with South African legislation, generates additional complications to SANRAL’s case, and OUTA has plenty of evidence indicating the equipment is unreliable.”
Should any OUTA contributing members be summonsed by SANRAL, they are urged to contact us on the OUTA web site here
OUTA Press Statement