“Acquiring an e-tag is optional and no road user should be stopped for having no e-tag,” Sanral spokesperson Vusi Mona said in a statement.
Mona said road users had been calling into radio stations claiming that police had stopped them at the weekend to check if they are e-tagged.
“We categorically deny that there is any partnership with the JMPD on this. No vehicles on any road are being checked to see whether they are e-tag registered. The JPMD has in the past distanced itself from this and so did we.”
JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaars said that if these incidents did in fact occur, it was not the officers of the department making checks.
“There appears to be confusion here, where people have misunderstood these people to be Metro police. We do not enforce e-tags, that is a function of Sanral. These were not Metro police.”
Mona put the alleged incidents to “people who are doing this illegally” in Sanral’s name or “urban legends now gaining a life of its own”.
Any road user who has been stopped to check if they have an e-tag must contact Sanral and the JPMD, added Mona.
“Getting e-tagged makes it possible for the road user to get a 48 percent discount and to have their monthly bill capped, among other benefits, but is not compulsory.”
The Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) consortium has meanwhile admitted to sending final letters of demand for outstanding e-toll payments, but has put them down to simple “human error”.
“This was a simple human error which resulted in the sending of test e-mails to live addresses. ETC is in the process of contacting the parties concerned to apologise,” it told The Citizen.
Justice Project SA (JPSA) revealed last week that the letters were sent via e-mail. It accused Sanral of lying when it said no final demand invoices were issued.
“Sanral has sent communication as final reminder of outstanding payment, but no final demand invoices,” said Mona.
It had not requested any summons to be issued by the National Prosecuting Authority.
Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance chairperson Wayne Duvenage said that this time he believed Sanral.
“For once I believe Sanral. When I heard about this claim from a motorist who phoned in, I gathered it was not true, but more likely a misinterpretation of a situation. As far as I understand things, Sanral is not allowed to contract the services of the metro police in this manner,” he said.