'Cloning' blamed for e-toll bungles

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IOL mot pic apr11 e-Toll Gantry INLSA Sanral says 2.6 million motorists drive under its gantries each month and that only 0.3 percent complain about incorrect billing. Simple arithmetic will tell you that adds up to an average of nearly 800 complaints a month. Picture: Karen Sandison

Cape Town - Cloned number plates or vehicle owners not updating their registration details could be the reason why motorists outside Gauteng have been incorrectly billed for e-tolls, according to the South African National Roads Agency Limited.

Several Cape Town motorists have complained that they had been erroneously sent e-toll accounts, despite not having used Gauteng roads.

Sanral spokesman Vusi Mona said that the agency had received reports of a “few incidents of people residing outside Gauteng who have been billed incorrectly”.

“In our experience, this is caused by cloned number plates and/or the fact that people did not update vehicle ownership details when they acquired a new car,” Mona said.

“We rely on the eNatis database to communicate with the road users.”

The eNatis system is a national traffic information database where all vehicle registration, driving licence, contraventions and accident data are kept.

Mona added: “The positive effect of ‘incorrect’ billing is that we are making steady progress in cleaning up the eNatis database and, in the process, we are exposing illegal practices on our roads.”

“The opponents of tolling have exaggerated the number of people getting incorrect bills to score cheap political points and to create the impression that the system is falling apart. Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said.

He said that the percentage of incorrect billing was “very small”. Of the 2.6 million motorists who used e-toll roads each month, 0.3 percent had complained about the system, Mona said. Motorists who received incorrect billing could report it to the e-toll call centre, a Sanral e-toll outlet or its website.


Geoff Sessions is one of a handful of Capetonians who has written to the Cape Times about being sent bills.

“I have sent numerous e-mails and registered letters with photos, that the car in their photos is not my car and that somebody has cloned my car’s registration number,” he said.

“I have made a sworn statement signed by a commission of oaths but, to date, to no avail. I have only received an enquiry response notification requesting me to complete a representation form with all the details I have already sent them.”

Sessions said he’d received his first bill in December and, since then, had received them monthly. The outstanding amount is R1230.66.

“I am a pensioner who had a serious stroke in the past and this is very upsetting. I have not driven in Gauteng for more than 20 years.”

Motorists can contact Sanral at 0800 726 725 or visit www.sanral.co.za/e-toll to report incorrect billing.

Cape Times

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