PMB pensioner gets R7?000 e-toll bill, but doesn’t even have a car

2014-10-17 00:00

PENSIONER Beauty Sekete was startled when she received a demand for payment of over R7 000 in e-tolls — for two reasons.

Sekete, of Westgate, Pietermaritzburg, last owned a car in 2010, and last travelled to Gauteng in 2012, when she flew. The bill is for August this year.

Speaking to The Witness yesterday, Sekete said she was at a loss to explain the South African National Road Agency Limited’s (Sanral) blunder.

“Are they just charging every South African citizen, or do motorists have to pass e-toll gantries to be billed?

“Oh, maybe they have e-toll gantries for aeroplanes now, who knows?” Sekete chuckled.

“I was shocked to get a statement ordering me to pay R7 258,77. They must scrap the e-tolling system because they cannot manage it properly,” she said.

The bill, seen by The Witness, warns Sekete that legal action would be pursued against her if she does not pay within 14 days. “If you fail to pay your e-toll fees within the prescribed period, you have committed an offence and you will be liable for the full value indictment,” the statement reads.

The identity document number reflected on the account statement is not Sekete’s, while the vehicle has a Gauteng number plate.

But Sekete, a former nursing tutor at Edendale Hospital, said she is “too clever” to worry about Sanral’s “stupidity”.

“I did not even bother calling them to find out what happened because I won’t pay. I don’t even have a car; my car is my feet. They must just forget it. I warn other pensioners to be vigilant because this is daylight robbery.”

Sanral spokesperson Nicole Wood said cloned numberplates or vehicle owners not updating their registration details resulted in motorists outside Gauteng being incorrectly billed. “This is most likely a cloned vehicle, or identity theft. We have criminals and road users trying to cheat the system; this will be an ongoing issue. We would require her details to investigate,” said Wood.

She said they dealt with such incidents “regularly”.

In January, a Durban man received an e-toll bill despite his vehicle not travelling out of the province for five years.

And Richards Bay resident John Harvey was shocked when he received an e-toll statement in March, while he had deregistered his vehicle in 2002.

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