Consumer Commission in talks with Sanral about complaint of FF Plus

2016-01-21
Adv Anton Alberts

The complaint that the FF Plus in November last year submitted to the Consumer Commission regarding Sanral equipment and which boils down to all e-toll accounts being unlawful, is being investigated and the Commission is currently holding talks about the issue, Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on Transport said.

The complaint is based on the fact that the equipment of Sanral being used in the Gauteng e-toll system does not meet legal requirements and regulations and that all the money which has thus far been collected or will be collected, is or will therefore be done in an unlawful manner.

All equipment which is being used for this particular objective, must meet the requirements of the the Legal Metrology Act, 9 of 2014, before it may collect fees from motorists.

According to Adv. Alberts, the Consumer Commission has confirmed to him that the matter is being investigated and the Commission is now awaiting the response of Sanral to the complaint.

“The process is ongoing. Our opinion is that the case is very strong in terms of the Act’s clear requirements for the certifying of toll instruments. It is an offense if it is not done and also if advertisements about the payment of e-tolls are being placed in the media.

“There have been reports in the media that the issue has been referred for mediation, but the Consumer Commission has denied it and has confirmed that the matter is indeed being investigated.

“The FF Plus will in the meantime also be taking up the matter with the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASASA) to prevent any further advertisements about e-tolls being placed in any format,” Adv. Alberts said.

For a full background on the complaint our previous media release on this matter, dated 2 November 2015 is attached below.

 

Contact no.: 082 391 3117 / 083 419 5403

 

MEDIA STATEMENT

SUBJECT : FF Plus investigation finds that all e-toll accounts are illegal

ISSUED BY : Adv. Anton Alberts

CAPACITY : FF Plus parliamentary spokesperson: Transport

DATE : 2 November 2015

Sanral’s equipment being used by the Gauteng e-toll system does not meet legal requirements and regulations and all money collected to date or will be collected, is or will be done in an illegal manner, Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on Transport says.

He said Sanral first has to meet the requirements as set out in the Legal Metrology Act, 9 of 2014 before it may collect fees from motorists.

According to Adv. Alberts received confirmation from the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) that the e-toll equipment had never been certified as required by the Act. The NRCS also confirmed that there was never an application for certification.

The contravention of the Act could have serious implications for the contravening body and a maximum sentence of ten year imprisonment or a fine, or both, could be imposed. In this case it appears that various aspects of the Act were contravened, Adv. Alberts says.

Sanral’s failure to adhere to the legal requirements at the same time also constitutes a contravention of five Sections of the National Consumer Protection Act.

The Sections include: Section 40 (unconscionable conduct); Section 41(false, misleading or deceptive representations); Section 48 (unfair, unreasonable or unjust contract terms); Section 49 (notice required for certain terms and conditions) and Section 54 (consumer’s right to safe, good quality goods).

Adv. Alberts says the FF Plus today submitted a complaint with the Consumer Commission.

He said the FF Plus had asked the Consumer Commission to make a ruling that all accounts are declared illegal until such time and while the specifications of Sanral’s e-toll equipment is granted approval by the NRCS.

A finding must also be made that Sanral reimburses all consumers for funds which have been paid for e-tolls to date.

“It is of the greatest importance that this case, which directly affects ten thousands of motorists and the country’s economy as a whole, is cleared as quickly as possible and that urgent corrective steps are taken.

The FF Plus also requested the Consumer Commission to obtain a finding about the matter from the Consumer Tribunal, if necessary,” Adv. Alberts said.