'Show us the invoice!' It might not be the catchiest slogan, but Gauteng motorists have already have a catchphrase for 2014. Before the rollout of e-tolls, many sceptics wanted to wait and see.
They didn't want to register, but planned use the tolls, then wait for an invoice, check that it was correct and pay before things got serious. But the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) is trying to scupper those plans. It's pressuring all users to pay up and making it difficult for non-registered drivers to check the facts.
The billing problems are just another symptom of a diseased system, say opposition groups. Sanral's more optimistic and just wants (another) chance.
According to an SMS from the Violations Processing Centre (VPC), the agency set up to collect outstanding toll fees, Louis Tyler-Scott owed over R600 despite dying in October 2012. Capetonian Louis van Biljon got an SMS saying he owed R87 but hasn't used the tolled Gauteng highways in 18 months. Thys de Beer's company Banrep, which has over 800 vehicles it rents to blacklisted clients who can't get finance, got an SMS saying it incurred R20 000 in e-tolls in a one-week period. Yet...