Sanral slammed for 'SMS invoices'

Non-registered motorists have been receiving SMS warnings about outstanding bills.

The controversial e-toll system went live at midnight on 3 December. Picture: Christa Van der Walt/ EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) and the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) say the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has no right to send an SMS message to non-registered motorists demanding payment.

Drivers who are not registered for e-tolls say they received SMSs from Sanral warning that outstanding bills will be handed over to the process centre.

The two organisations say road users must request an invoice from Sanral before paying anything.

JPSA Chairman Howard Dembovsky says motorists are not violating any laws when ignoring Sanral's messages.

"You are entitled to an invoice and when you receive that invoice, you are entitled to go and verify whether it was in fact your vehicle passing under those gantries or not."

Outa's Wayne Duvenage has called on motorists not to fall for Sanral's "bullying tactics".

"Motorists have to be issued a summons before they can be stopped from travelling on the roads or pulled over. I don't know anybody who bills people via SMS. Sanral don't have the right to just bully people in this way."

Meanwhile, government has slammed an SMS "hoax" claiming Sanral and the police are setting up illegal roadblocks and forcing people to buy e-tags.

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