- The newly-passed AARTO Act could see motorists paying hundreds of Rands in fines for non-payment of e-tolls
- Critics of the Act call it a plan to "bully" motorists into paying e-tolls
- This comes as Fikile Mbalula has until Saturday to come up with a plan for dealing with the issue
Under the new Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act, motorists driving operator class vehicles could be fined up to R500 every time they pass through an e-toll without paying.
Drivers of light motor vehicles will be fined R250.
This comes as government is expected to make an announcement next month about the future of e-tolls.
E-tolls remain deeply unpopular, with a recent survey finding that most South Africans would never pay their e-tolls under any circumstance. Additionally, at its highest point, e-toll compliance stood at a low 40%, Briefly.co.za has gathered.
Indeed, the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) recently cautioned that the current e-toll model was unsustainable and recommended that government overhaul the way its pricing model and how it deals with e-toll debt, according to Business Tech.
The new AARTO Act, signed into law last week by Cyril Ramaphosa, has drawn significant criticism as well. The DA, for example, says it is just an attempt to bully motorists into paying more.
"The act is just another way to force motorists to pay for e-tolls," the party said. "The DA has always been against the implementation of e-tolls as this is an unfair burden on the residents of Gauteng who are already struggling to make ends meet."
As a result, the DA says that Ramaphosa should postpone the implementation of the Act until there is more clarity around the future of e-tolls.
Transport Miniter Fikile Mbalula is currently heading up a task team aimed at resolving the thorny issue of e-tolls, according to The Citizen. He has until this weekend to present a plan to address the situation.
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