Outa asks Madonsela to step in

Outa has asked Thuli Madonsela's office to mediate between Sanral and the public.

After a year and a half of legal battles and protests, the controversial multi-billion rand e-tolling system went live in Gauteng on 3 December. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) has written to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela asking her office to mediate between the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) and the public.

Outa says it wants Sanral to face its critics in a "responsible and mature way" before the situation deteriorates into a "fiasco which South Africa cannot afford".

The organisation's Wayne Duvenage says they want Madonsela to mediate in the situation.

"What we have asked the public protector to do is bring some sanity to the situation."

The public protector's office has acknowledged receiving the request, but is yet to decide whether it will get involved.

Outa says it has received more than 500 complaints from motorists about harassing texts, incorrect bills and problems with paying accounts.

Many motorists are claiming they have not used the e-toll highways, yet continue to receive exorbitant bills.

In the latest incident, a Johannesburg man has told Eyewitness News that Sanral sent an e-tolling notice to his son, claiming he owes R280 in tariffs despite him being 10-year's-old.

The Roodepoort man says his son received the SMS from Sanral on Tuesday and not knowing what to do with it, showed it to his parents.

"It is his phone and his SIM card, but it was RICA registered under my name."

He says there's clearly been a mistake.

"There is no way in this world he could've driven under the gantry. He doesn't have a car, unless he did it on his bicycle."

The SMS makes no mention of who the message was destined for.

In another case, a Gauteng motorist was charged for six different vehicles she does not own.

The cars were registered under her maiden name.

Sanral says these are teething problems which are being resolved.

Meanwhile, Outa has also called on Sanral to prove its claim that 960,000 e-tags have been sold.

Earlier this week, Sanral's Vusi Mona said the number of e-tags sold is approaching the million mark and thanked those motorists who have cooperated.

After a year-and-a-half of legal battles and protests, the controversial multi-billion rand system went live in Gauteng last month.

Schematic diagram clarifying e-toll fines. Picture: Sanral