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Louise Flanagan of IOL Motoring writes:
The Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill was approved by the cabinet at the beginning of August and the government has issued a copy of the bill and a notification that it will go to Parliament for approval.
This month’s version of the bill says the new law will give the Cross-Border Road Transport Agency the authority to collect tolls for the SA National Roads Agency Limited.
It removes the levying of tolls from the ambit of the National Credit Act and it adds some presumptions, to make it harder to avoid paying tolls.
It presumes that the vehicle that ran up the tolls was driven by the owner, unless evidence is produced to show otherwise, and holds that owner responsible.
It also presumes that all the tolling equipment worked accurately, unless proved otherwise. [Flanagan's emphasis]
The memorandum issued with the bill says: “The bill has been necessitated by the development of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, as well as future plans for the development of road infrastructure in the Republic.”
So basically, the government is thinking bigger than just the Gauteng Freeway “Improvement” Project. These laws will apply to all future toll roads, which also implies they are planning more of them, and will not pay for them out of current tax revenues, but will levy new taxes on the public.