Sanral denies e-toll roadblocks

This follows several roadblocks during which Gauteng motorists claimed that they were being questioned about e-tolls and owning an e-tag.

Earlier the roads agency said the roadblocks conducted by the Gauteng Department of Community Safety, were used to police unroadworthy vehicles and those vehicle with false, cloned, altered, obscured or missing number plates.

However, Justice Project South Africa said it also received calls from Gauteng motorists regarding roadblocks and intimidation by personnel of e-toll-branded road agency vehicles.

Justice Project South Africa’s chairperson, Howard Dembovsky said the organisation had been informed that during the roadblocks, officials recorded motorists’ names and identity numbers after asking them why they did not have an e-tag and why they were using e-toll roads without having an e-tag.

Sanral’s spokesperson, Vusi Mona acknowledged the roadblocks, but said the roads agency had no mandate to do on-road enforcement’s and road blocks.

Mona pointed out that the road agency’s personnel were civilians and had no authority to stop any vehicle to enforce e-toll laws.

The presence of the road agency’s vehicles and personnel at the roadblock was merely to provide traffic officials with equipment and access to data.

However, Mona said the roads agency had not requested any law enforcement agency to question road users whether they had e-tags or not.

The Gauteng Department of Community Safety had assured the roads agency that none of its officers had been instructed to question motorists in this regard, he added.

Obtaining an e-tag was not a requirement by law and therefore did not require any enforcement, Mona said. An e-tag simply enabled the road user access to various discounts and the ease of payment, but these benefits could not be forced upon road users.

Mona urged any road user who had been stopped and questioned about e-tags to record the details of the incident and report it to the police or the anonymous tip-offs line at 080 020 4508.

However, Dembovsky said the road blocks should be stopped immediately or the roads agency’s e-toll branded vehicles should be excluded from them as they were causing unwarranted panic and speculation.

  AUTHOR
Simone Samuels

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