Govt slams 'hoax' e-toll SMS

Dept of Transport has slammed an SMS claiming police are forcing people to buy e-tags.

Dept of Transport has slammed an SMS claiming police are forcing people to buy e-tags. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Government has slammed an SMS claiming the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) and the police are setting up illegal roadblocks and forcing people to buy e-tags as a hoax.

Department of Transport's Tiyani Rikhotso says the message is a fake.

"Sanral and the Department of Transport aren't working with traffic authorities to either force people to register for e-tolling or inspect whether or not they have an e-tag."

Meanwhile, the Justice Project South Africa (JPSA), whose contact details were included in the SMS, has distanced itself from the message.

The JPSA's Howard Dembovsky says the project's original messages had been manipulated.

"This thing has been taken and manipulated and people have added their own little caveats to it and the net result is that it has actually turned out to be a joke instead of something designed to protect people."

The controversial e-tolling system went live at midnight on 3 December after months of legal wrangling, protests and calls for civil disobedience.