The roads agency maintained that this particular method of addressing outstanding e-toll bills remained a last resort.
This was in response to statement issued by Justice Project South Africa (JPSA), which stated that the road agency’s Violations Processing Centre (VPC) had started sending out emails notifying motorists that final demands and summons had been issued.
According to the JPSA, on 2 May a company that allegedly had an outstanding e-toll bill received an email stating that ‘a final demand has been issued in regard to your e-toll Violations Processing Centre (VPC) account’ and another stating that ‘a summons has been issued’.
“It is not clear at this stage whether the summons referred to in the email is a civil or criminal summons, as neither the final demand nor the summons has as yet been received by the company in question,” the JPSA said.
However, the roads agency denied sending the emails.
“Sanral has neither issued any final letters of demand, nor requested any summons to be issued by the National Prosecuting Authority,” the agency’s spokesperson, Vusi Mona said.
“We are still following the normal process of following up on outstanding toll fees. The issuing of summons is the last resort. We would much rather have road-users register for their e-toll accounts thereby avoiding the legal route.”
However, Mona noted, that it had sent communication to motorists as a final reminder of outstanding payment, but no final demand invoices.
In response, the JPSA said Mona’s comments were worrying because, if true, “it simply means that the Sanral VPC is lying to people in its emails”.
“This constitutes both, unconscionable [unreasonably excessive] conduct and intimidation on the part of the VPC since they have made threats and statements of fact in their emails to the effect that ‘a letter of demand has been issued’ and ‘a summons has been issued’, “ it said in a second statement.