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e-tag billing shock


etolling jan 17

INLSA

Photo: Mujahid Safodien

The SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) not only wants your money – it also wants access to all your bank details and financial accounts.

The Department of Transport postponed e-tolling on Gauteng’s freeways on Friday, weeks before the system was due to go live next month. This is the second time the department has suspended the multibillion-rand project.

Despite this, Sanral has continued its advertising campaign, encouraging motorists to register for e-tags. But the registration of the e-tags may be illegal in terms of the Consumer Protection Act.

This is according to various organisations who have analysed the terms and conditions of e-tag accounts.

At the centre of their concerns is clause 33 of Sanral’s terms and conditions, which states that: “The user hereby irrevocably authorises the Agency or its duly authorised agent to obtain from any institution where the user may have an account, or from any credit bureau, any information concerning the user. This clause constitutes consent and an instruction to each such institution to disclose such information to the Agency or its agent.”

Dr Cliff Johnston, from the SA National Consumer Union (Sancu), said this goes against the Financial Services Act, which states that an institution may not request more information than is needed.

“So they may see if you have been blacklisted. But what if you have? Will that mean you won’t be able to register? Will you not be able to use the road then? How will Sanral deal with those cases?” Johnston asked.

Sancu intended to complain about the terms and conditions to the National Consumer Tribunal before the suspension. It is now planning to approach Sanral’s new board to point out the illegalities in the conditions.

Another contentious term, said Johnston, was that “Sanral’s information is correct unless you can prove otherwise. So if someone fraudulently copies your licence plate, Sanral will remove money from your account. How are you going to prove it wasn’t your car? This is illegal in terms of the Consumer Protection Act.”

Another controversial term was that you must supply Sanral with your bank account details, giving it access to debit money from the account “once the user’s e-toll account balance goes below the user’s predefined top-up threshold level”.

Johnston said Sancu was initially encouraging people to register for an e-toll account, but only on the prepaid option, without giving banking details.

“But we soon realised Sanral would not register you without your bank details.

“What if you are poor and don’t have a bank account? Does that mean you won’t be allowed to drive on the roads?”

For road users who do not register for an e-tag, Sanral’s terms are that motorists must pay for the toll within seven days or they will be punished. But Johnston said this was impossible as it would take far longer for the notice to be posted to you and payment made.

The DA has taken its concerns one step further by sending a complaint of infringements by Sanral to the National Consumer Tribunal in terms of the Consumer Protection Act

: that users have to give access to their bank accounts for unknown amounts; there is a high possibility of fraud as 10 percent of all licence plates are cloned or fraudulent; there is no clarity on how disputed amounts will be refunded; there are undisclosed administration fees (R5 for posted statements and 20c for each sms); identification by e-tag as opposed to number plate is unclear; and certain road users (minibus taxis and buses) are exempted, leading to unfair discrimination.

Sanral had not responded to queries at the time of going to print.

What they don’t tell you

* Users have to give access to their bank accounts for unknown amounts;

* There is a high possibility of fraud as 10 percent of all licence plates are cloned or fraudulent;

* There is no clarity on how disputed amounts will be refunded;

* There are undisclosed administration fees (R5 for post statements and 20c for each sms);

* Identification by e-tag as opposed to number plate is unclear; and

* Certain road users (minibus taxis and buses) are exempted, leading to unfair discrimination. - The Star


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Anonymous, wrote

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11:01am on 17 January 2012
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Bloody reap Off i would never give the government my Account number with so much corruption within SA and i must give those people my account munber.....NEVER i pay Tax thats enough

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K10810b, wrote

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10:59am on 17 January 2012
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Why don't they just put more levies on the petrol to pay for the roads?

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mal, wrote

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10:53am on 17 January 2012
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Register and give all my bank details? Ha ha, excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor Ha ha ha ha ha ha

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TOKYO3991, wrote

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10:52am on 17 January 2012
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SANRAL is evil personified, a government agency inebriated on the unregulated and unlimited power bestowed upon it illegally by the DoT. The ANC is out of control, they MUST be stopped by any ANY AND ALL MEANS NECESSARY.

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Johann Boshoff, wrote

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10:51am on 17 January 2012
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What happened to the term "freeway". It is suppose to be "free". Our taxes is suppose to maintain roads and all basic services like roads in this country. Even the media is mislead (especially my beloved Radio Station Talk 702) to promote the improvements in the road systems and the benefits it have. The reality, we pay double on what we suppose to have, and is a due to fraud by the Government of the the day (ANC) is involved in. The problem is not taxes and toll fees, It is the fraud off Government of the the day (ANC). Awake SA, Awake! Especially my black South African brothers and Sisters?

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FreeGuy, wrote

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10:51am on 17 January 2012
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There should be a mass etag burning outside sanral's offices!!!

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aNON, wrote

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10:48am on 17 January 2012
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there must be investigations into 'kickbacks' that govt, provincial officials and sanral are getting via the foreign company. this is done via an 'agent' who disburses money through a number of swiss, virgin islands, etc bank accounts to the 'officials' as 'consulting' fees. this money also goes to their 'family' trusts under various disguises. INVESTIGATE ALL SANRAL TOP MANAGEMENT AND MINISTERS INVOLVED!!!!!!

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Anonymous, wrote

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10:47am on 17 January 2012
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Ill drive wherever I want.Come and get me! What you want with my bank details and finances? Steal it!

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Tracey, wrote

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10:46am on 17 January 2012
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)&@%)&@%)&@%&) them - they will have to come looking for me - I am not divulging any of my personal details let alone my banking details.

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Anonymous, wrote

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10:43am on 17 January 2012
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There's no way in hell I will register for an E-tag EVER! I might as well send Zuma a bill for breathing MY oxygen (and wasting it).

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fred, wrote

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10:35am on 17 January 2012
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Follow your every move with an e tagg then all your info. One police state comming up. Do you want some souce with that?

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Anonymous, wrote

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10:34am on 17 January 2012
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Can't believe 200,000 people willingly opened their bank accounts to fraud and corruption by SANRAL.

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bhoboza, wrote

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10:34am on 17 January 2012
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this whole thing does not make sense the governement is getting money from everything now they want money from this

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Motsamai, wrote

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10:31am on 17 January 2012
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I receive my electronic and manual bank statements for FREE! Why must SANRAL charge me for statements?

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tshibudu, wrote

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10:30am on 17 January 2012
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Sanral has been conducting its affairs without due consideration for the people. Shame on you Sanral. Phansi nge Sanral phansi.

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ROD, wrote

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10:30am on 17 January 2012
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And there is no mention of the PRIVACY SECURITY aspect – More like E-TRACKING! Sanral: ‘We track you whenever and wherever you are (drive)’ – Who knows, it starts with the highways, but who’s to say they won’t install tracking devices on smaller roads?! First register for e-tagging tracking for highway tolling and once the public accepts this, ‘we can expand the network and track your every move, as well as have cart blanche on your bank account!’ Are Sanral the only ones driving this or is the e-Gov behind this too? Yes, this may be a reality with cellular technology, but the use of cellular technology is by choice – this attempt of ‘e-tracking’ is being forced on the general public… Big brother is watching you!

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Anonymous, wrote

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10:28am on 17 January 2012
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I see everyone is nice and fired up about this. So what will you say when the pig with a GUN hijacks you on the way to work and demands you pay him? Provincial pigs are already gearing up to enforce this highway robbery. No plates, they do nothing but bend you over for them.

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Khalsa Singh, wrote

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10:27am on 17 January 2012
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Very simple people.......nobody must pay. They cant prosecute us all. And if they do, just fall sick like Shaik and Selebi. Really a pity we cant withhold our rates and taxes.

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Pressburg, wrote

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10:24am on 17 January 2012
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This is organised crime par excellence. Not even the Mafia can beat this!

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Anonymous, wrote

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10:23am on 17 January 2012
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The idiots who rushed to register deserve what they get

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