E-toll fees SMS sent to dead man

Johannesburg - A man who has been dead since October 2012 received an SMS warning that he had overdue e-toll fees of R612.21, the Beeld newspaper reported on Saturday.

"I did not know whether I should laugh or cry when I received the SMS [on 30 December]. My father last registered a car two years before his death," Louis Tyler-Scott, the son of the dead man Charles, told the newspaper.

Tyler-Scott said he liked to check his father's phone from time to time.

Many people posted their grievances on Facebook.

@Florah-M said that the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) had contacted her mother via SMS to tell her she owed R380 - this despite the fact that her mother lives in Limpopo and does not own a car.

The newspaper reported that another woman, Adri Fourie, was sent an e-mail indicating that she owed R204.

However, when she went onto the website, she discovered that it had been a Nissan X-Trail, bearing the same front number plate as her Volkswagen Golf, which had gone through the tolls.

Fourie said she subsequently sent an e-mail to Sanral about the problem.

"Sanral told me that I must prove it. I refused."

Meanwhile, the Saturday Star reported that the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) was compiling a dossier of all the problems to send to the Public Protector.

"Sanral is trying by hook and by crook - and now by 'spook' - to scare and intimidate road users who have not tagged up, to serve the system even though the system is failing," Outa spokesperson John Clarke told the newspaper.

Sanral spokesperson Vusi Mona however said that people could better solve their queries by contacting the call centre, "not your newspaper".

He suggested that "anyone who is in doubt of our efficiency needs only to look at the national roads. This is not Malawi, to repeat what... President [Jacob Zuma] said".

The e-toll system started operating across Gauteng on 3 December.

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