Justice Project SA (JPSA) chairperson Howard Dembovsky yesterday charged that roadblocks had been set up by the department’s officers contracted to Sanral, using branded e-toll trucks in several locations on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project Network.
Motorists made claims to have been stopped on Atlas Road, on the East Rand and being asked to explain why they don’t have an e-tag.
Further to this, motorists were asked to record their name and identity number. “At first we assumed that these roadblocks were merely being used to check for false, cloned, altered, obscured and missing number plates as would be consistent with proper physical visible policing, however, it has now come to our attention that people with no defects to their vehicles have been stopped at the roadblock set up.”
The department was quick to put the confusion aside in a statement in which it claimed to have conducted operations around the province, which only focused on vehicle and driver fitness. “Each of these operations must not be misconstrued for anything other than law enforcement,” spokesperson Thapelo Moiloa said.
Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) chairperson Wayne Duvenage viewed the operations to be “intimidation tactics” on the part of Sanral.
Outa too had received calls with people claiming to be harassed. “We in fact sent someone from Outa to the roadblocks who was told by officers that they were just looking out for problem cars.”
He charged that the operations were on the part of Sanral, which tried to sort out “the number plate cloning mess” which exacerbated through motorists who tried to neglect from paying e-tolls.
Dembovsky reminded the public that there was no requirement for any person to have an e-tag in any law.
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