‘Roadblocks not used to check e-tags’

Gauteng’s Department of Community Safety says Sanral is merely assisting police with standard checks.

An aerial view taken from a helicopter showing an e-toll gantry on the N1 highway. Picture: Aki Anastasiou/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng Department of Community Safety today moved to allay motorists' concerns about so-called ' e-tag roadblocks' which have been the subject of controversy this week.

The department's law enforcement officers and officials from the South African National Roads Agency Limited ( Sanral) are currently staging a massive roadblock on one of Johannesburg's major highway off-ramps.

Frustration has been mounting in recent days over suspicions the department has been working with Sanral to fine motorists for not having e-tags, but the department has denied this.

Gauteng Traffic Police say they have partnered with Sanral to mount several daily roadblocks across the province but this is purely in an effort to enforce traffic laws and has nothing to do with the controversial e-tolling system.

Community Safety's Thapelo Moiloa says Sanral is specifically helping police use certain equipment.

"The equipment is able to assist us in identifying the vehicle, whether number plates are not cloned, whether it's a stolen vehicle and whether the licence discs are expired."

Moiloa says the department uses Sanral's equipment to check driver and vehicle fitness, hence the partnership.

He says traffic officers and Sanral officials are not allowed to ask motorists whether they have e-tags or tell them to register.

Eyewitness News has watched several cars without e-tags being allowed to drive past the massive roadblock without being hassled.