“The acknowledgment today of Mr. Nazir Alli, the Chief Executive Officer of the South African National Road Agency (SANRAL) before the parliamentary portfolio committee on transport, that the e-toll billing system is geared to getting people to register for e-tags, is in contravention of the Consumer Protection Act. 68 of 2008,” Adv. Anton Alberts, the parliamentary spokesperson on transport for the FF Plus, says.
The fact that different tariffs are being levied for users with e-tags on the one hand and for those road users without e-tags on the other is unjustifiable discrimination which is prohibited by the Consumer Act. Mr. Alli said that he did not understand why road users do not register for e-tags because ‘without e-tags you pay higher prices and do not qualify for discounts’. Section 48(1)(a)(i) of the Consumer Act prohibits unreasonable and unfair prices and SANRAL is in breach of this section.
“SANRAL also now acknowledges that it is forcing road users to register for e-tags. Section 40 of the Consumer Act prohibits service providers from using violence to get consumers to make use of their services. Mr. Alli’s comments confirm that SANRAL is using the billing system to force road users to register for e-tags.
“In his submission to the committee, Mr. Alli also said that all the information which SANRAL had obtained about illegal vehicles on the road, will be handed to the relevant law enforcement authorities. According to SANRAL there are a number of vehicles which have duplicate number plates or even have no number plate at all which are making use of the e-toll system. This information which SANRAL had obtained through the implementation of the e-toll system will, according to Alli, be handed over to law enforcement authorities.
“The FF Plus is in favour of illegal vehicles and illegal road users being held accountable. Should SANRAL however hand this information to law enforcement authorities, the agency would be acting outside of the prescripts of the SANRAL Act. It is not within the SANRAL Act’s prescriptions for the road agency to hand information to third parties about road users of the e-toll system.
“SANRAL and Mr. Alli clearly do not have any respect for the laws of the country and does not hesitate to contravene these laws. The FF Plus will therefore be approaching the Consumer Protection Commission to request that they investigate the comments of Nazir Alli today. The comments will serve as further proof of SANRAL’s contravention of the Consumer Protection Act and the FF Plus will submit additional complaints to the commission about SANRAL’s contraventions of the Act,” Adv. Alberts says.
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