SANRAL acknowledges it cannot block licence renewals – IRR

24 March 2021 - Last week (15 March), the IRR confronted the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) over the threat, published on its website and reported in the media, that motor vehicle licences might not be issued in the event of outstanding e-toll payments.

Last week (15 March), the IRR confronted the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) over the threat, published on its website and reported in the media, that motor vehicle licences might not be issued in the event of outstanding e-toll payments.

In our correspondence with SANRAL we warned: “Such an action would cause great disruption to South Africa’s economy, undermine its prospects for recovery, and place an even greater tax burden on distressed households and businesses. For these reasons we urge you to revoke the threat.”

We are pleased to report that SANRAL:

  1. says the threat as published on its website is outdated and therefore does not represent its present position; and
  2. acknowledges that it does not have the legislative mandate (or, put simply, the power) to block vehicle licence renewals.

SANRAL has therefore taken the position that licence suspensions cannot occur and that it is not presently pressing for such suspensions.

This is a great victory for motorists and an example of how, standing together, citizens do have the power to #StopCitizenAbuse.

Our read is that SANRAL was happy for the threat to stand on its website and in the media as this might intimidate some motorists and that only after being challenged was it moved to clarify the position that licences cannot be suspended.

The IRR will remain vigilant on this issue and intervene again if the position of SANRAL or the governments changes.

Because of citizen opposition to e-tolls, ANC Gauteng Premier David Makhura has emphatically and publicly opposed e-tolls.

SANRAL informed us that it is currently awaiting decisions on the future of e-tolls from the Minister of Transport and we will keep a watching brief to ensure that the minister does not push for licences to be suspended, which would be politically disastrous for the ANC.

For the time being, the risk has been averted and people should not be intimidated. We at the IRR will remain vigilant and use our resources to block any indication of e-toll-related citizen abuse. (See https://irr.org.za/campaigns/stop-citizen-abuse)

Media contacts: Amy-Claire Morton, IRR Content Producer – 084 867 1141; amy-claire@irr.org.za

Kelebogile Leepile Tel: 079 051 0073 Email: kelebogile@irr.org.za

Media enquiries:

Michael Morris Tel: 066 302 1968 Email: michael@irr.org.za

Ends

 

 

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