Outa: SMS demands over e-toll bills illegal

Outa says it’s received complaints from the public about a new round of threatening messages.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) says threatening SMS demands by the South African Railway Agency of South Africa (Sanral) for outstanding e-toll bills are in contravention of the Debt Collection Act.

Outa says it's received numerous complaints from the public about a new round of threatening messages.

It says the text messages are linked to the nonpayment of e-tolls and steers the receiver to a Cape Town-based Sanral violations centre.

Outa's Wayne Duvenage says the text messages are illegal.

"This is clear intimidation. Motorists are asking what they're going to do, and feel threatened and intimidated by these messages. They want to know whether they're going to take legal action against them. They [Sanral] can't explain any of this and this is a transgression of the act. They're out of line."

Sanral says the texts were sent by the Electronic Tolling Company (ETC), which operates the system, and not the roads agency.

The ETC has not been available for comment.