“Based on the feedback of the independent auditors, Sanral maintains that the figures used were correct,” SA National Roads Agency Limited spokesman Vusi Mona said.
“We trust that the new facts provided to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) will lead to a different finding.”
The ASA said on Monday it found Sanral could not prove it had sold 1.2 million e-tags, nor substantiate the monthly e-tag costs stated in its campaign.
The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) and two individuals had lodged complaints with the ASA about Sanral’s e-tolling adverts.
“Although it was a time-consuming process, Sanral appointed independent auditors to verify the [cost] information,” Mona said on Wednesday.
Figures for the number of vehicles registered with e-tags were still being audited, Mona said.
A response to the ASA ruling, including the findings reached by the auditors, was forwarded to the ASA on Wednesday.
Sanral was ordered not to use the figures again unless appropriate substantiation had been submitted and accepted by way of a new ASA ruling.
Complainant Steven Haywood contended that statistics quoted in Sanral’s campaign about e-tags were flawed and ambiguous.
Mona said the registration figures were currently being looked into by independent auditors. Once completed, the audited figures would be shared with the public.
Outa objected to Sanral’s radio advert thanking “the people and organisations that have taken up 1.2 million tags for the Gauteng e-roads”.
It said Outa, journalists, and other organisations had repeatedly asked for proof of this claim.
“The claim that ‘1.2 million… tags’ have been sold to date appears to be unsubstantiated in terms of the code and is therefore in contravention of clause 4.1 of section II,” the ASA ruled.
“By virtue of this, it appears that the claim is also misleading, and in contravention of… the code.”
Sanral was ordered to withdraw the claim.