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Government wants to change the law to nab e-toll defaulters

| Crime and security

The Department of Transport has gazetted amendments to the National Road Traffic regulations which deal with the withholding of licence discs when there are e-tolls outstanding on a vehicle.

Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) said it took note of the proposed amendments ‘with some alarm and disbelief’ as it could not find a particular ‘regulation 11′ anywhere.

According to the JPSA, the proposals were gazetted on 17 July 2015 in Government Gazette 38997, and refer to a “regulation 11 of the e-Road Regulations, 2015”.

It highlighted the following wording in the proposed amendments.

Regulation 25 of the Regulations is hereby amended by the addition of the following paragraph after paragraph (h) of subregulation (1): (i) the owner of which has failed to comply with the requirements of the e-Road Regulations, 2015 published under section 58(1)(dA) and (dC) of the South African National Roads Agency Limited and National Roads Act, 1998 (Act No. 7 of 1998) for the payment of tolls where the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited has applied a mark in terms of regulation 11 of those e-Road Regulations to the effect that the owner of the vehicle has outstanding tolls in respect of the vehicle concerned.

“According to our records, the last time that e-Road Regulations were published was in Notice No. R. 739 contained in government gazette No. 36911 of 9 October 2013. The short title of the said Regulations was ‘the e-Road Regulations, 2013′,” the JPSA said.

Howard Dembovsky, JPSA national chairman, said that any proposed amendments to the e-Road regulations should have been published for public/stakeholder comment and at least 30 days should have been made available for comments to be submitted.

“It is difficult, if not entirely impossible to believe that absolutely everyone we know would have failed to submit comments on such a serious matter and therefore we hold significant doubt that any such amendments to the e-Road regulations under the SANRAL Act would have escaped anyone’s, least of all our and the media’s attention.”

Those who are interested in commenting on the proposed regulations have two weeks within which to do so, with a deadline set for August 14.

The e-mail addresses, postal addresses, and phone numbers to lodge objections, inputs, or comments to can be found in the notice on the South African government’s website.

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