Sanral hits MPs where it hurts: e-tolls

2014-02-23 10:00

ANC Members of Parliament (MPs) are furious after roads agency Sanral sent them e-toll bills while their cars were in Cape Town over the holidays.

Ruth Bhengu, chairperson for the National Assembly portfolio committee on transport and an ANC MP, told City Press this week that she had received complaints from party MPs whose cars were locked up and unused at Parliament in December.

She refused to say who the MPs were and blamed cloned number plates for the bills.

“E-tolling assisted us to identify that there is a cloning of number plates in South Africa and there are also false number plates,” she said.

“We did come up with a solution to that. We are looking at a situation where people will produce number plates that will have to be accredited.

“We are looking at the system in Malawi where nobody can come to a counter, produce the licence disc of a car and ask for a number plate.

“You have to go through a special process where you verify that you are the owner of that car and no other car has that registration,” she said.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters this week ordered Sanral to fix its billing problems.

She conceded to the portfolio committee on ­Tuesday that there were teething problems with the system.

“My instructions to Sanral are clear and unambiguous. They must sort out billing challenges and they must sort them out now,” she said.

The biggest problems were duplicate and cloned licence plates, unregistered vehicles and cars without number plates.

Peters urged all MPs to comply with the law and register for e-tolls.

DA Shadow Minister of Transport Ian Ollis was told off by Peters for not registering for e-tolls. But he said the law gave people a choice to buy an e-tag and he was testing the system.

Ollis told City Press afterwards that he had received a bill on February 3, but the pay-by date for the discount was February 1.

“I paid the bill on February 3, but I am contesting the rate because the system is flawed,” he said.

Sanral CEO Nazir Alli said that teething problems occurred with most IT systems.

“We impact about 2.5?million users monthly,” he told the committee.

He said the website was being made more user-friendly and that 85% of complaints to Sanral about e-tolling had already been resolved.

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