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News Room

Check Your e-Toll Summons Before Doing Anything!

Sherryn de Vos
2017-05-09
Before you panic about being hauled off to court for your unpaid e-Toll accounts, make sure that they are legal! Here’s why!
6 000 motorists have received a summons for their outstanding e-Toll accounts, according to sources. One defendant has been dragged to court and has received a judgment against their name. SANRAL are claiming this as a victory for them, and are warning other defaulters that they too will be facing similar consequences should they not pay up their accounts. The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa), however, are slamming SANRAL. Stating that the summonses contain some facts and information that simply make them worth appealing. Outa, who have had a long-standing war with SANRAL, as well as against the fines system in South Africa, are questioning the validity of the summons system. They have found several irregularities in the document and raised the all important question, where is SANRAL getting addresses to serve the summonses? But, there are several other reasons why the e-Toll summons is setting off alarm bells. You need to be fully aware of this before you are dragged off to court!

3 Reasons Why They Are Dodgy

Many of the summonses show that the fees were incurred between 3 August 2013 and 2 December. This is highly irregular as the conditions for payment were only published on 19 November 2013. e-Tolling only formerly commenced on 9 December 2013. So, we want to know, how were these previous tariffs calculated? Secondly, there seems to be a lot of vital information missing from the summons. This includes:
  • Identity of the vehicle;
  • Class of the vehicle;
  • The gantry that the vehicle allegedly passed through;
  • Date and time the vehicle allegedly passed through the gantry;
  • Tariffs that applied to the vehicle at the relevant times;
  • Whether the defendant owned the vehicle;
  • If the defendant was the driver of the vehicle;
  • Whether the defendant was a registered alternate user, a registered e-tag user, or a registered VLN user.
Thirdly, Regulation 6(5) of the e-road regulations prescribes that the agency “must within 32 days after the alternative user has used the e-road, but after the expiry of the grace period … send an invoice to the said user to the last known address provided in terms of the National Road Traffic Act”. This raises several questions:
  1. What is the grace period, and why was it not indicated?
  2. How was the address obtained? Presuming, in fact, that they are referring to the motorists address?
  3. How is the summons served? Is it served by a person? Which company is serving these summonses?
  4. Why has it not been recorded how defendants are notified.

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Have you checked your summons correctly?
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