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Officials investigate ‘e-tag roadblocks'

Several Gauteng motorists have complained that Sanral officers are setting up ‘e-tag’ roadblocks.

The Gauteng Department of Community Safety says it will investigate why Sanral officers are participating in its roadblocks. Picture:Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng Department of Community Safety says it will investigate why South African National Roads Agency Limited ( Sanral) officers are participating in its roadblocks.

The move follows several claims that officials belonging to the roads agency were placing pressure on Gauteng motorists who didn't have e-tags, with some claiming the officials were trying to force people to buy the devices.

The department has taken responsibility for the roadblocks but insists its officers are on the road to conduct routine legal checks which have nothing to do with the controversial e-tolling system.

"It's something that we need to investigate as a department," says the department's Thapelo Moiloa, explaining that Sanral officers would need explicit permission to join their roadblocks.

"It could be something that was discussed with my department but I'm not aware of it myself."

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) says the presence of Sanral officers is simply a covert move aimed at forcing motorists to comply with the system.

"It is nothing but a naked intimidation tactic," says Outa spokesperson John Clarke.

But he says the alliance isn't surprised by the claims.

"We warned right at the beginning that they were going to use hook, crook and spook tactics."

Outa says the traffic police are well within their rights to set up roadblocks but Sanral has no right to interfere.

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