Yadhana Jadoo
Political Editor
2 minute read
5 Jun 2014
10:00 am

Sanral, traffic police ‘are not colluding’

Yadhana Jadoo

The Gauteng Community Safety Department has distanced itself from the SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) and the Electronic Toll Collection company (ETC), responsible for running the controversial e-toll system in the province.

FILE PICTURE: Traffic police conduct a road block, 4 June 2014, at the Rivonia Road onramp to the e-tolled N1 south. Sanral branded vehicles featuring the e-toll logo are seen parked alongside the road block. Picture: Michel Bega

Department spokesperson Thapelo Moiloa said yesterday its law enforcement officers, who were conducting road blocks on various “e-roads” this week, were not “attached to Sanral”.

“As far as we know, Sanral’s ‘officers’ are targeting areas where our officers are doing operations,” Moiloa said.

The Citizen has the ETC’s CEO Jamie Surkont commenting on record last week that it “made sense” for Sanral to utilise the department’s enforcement agency.

Sanral was not a law enforcement agency and would need to use the department’s “services for on road enforcement assistance related to toll infringements only once the prosecution processes are concluded by the courts”, said Surkont.

Moiloa released a statement on Tuesday indicating the Gauteng Traffic Police had conducted operations focusing on vehicle and driver fitness. “These operations must not be misconstrued as anything other than law enforcement,” he said.

This followed calls from motorists claiming that officers had asked why they were using e-roads without an e-tag. It is not a legal requirement to get an e-tag. Alongside the department’s branded vans were e-toll branded vehicles, but Moiloa could not explain this. “The officers’ duties are purely law enforcement. … if they assist Sanral we will have to investigate.”

The Citizen drove through a road block yesterday and was told by an officer that the e-toll branded trucks were equipped with “computers” able to detect vehicle licences.

Sanral’s Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project manager Alex van Niekerk told this publication last year prior to e-tolls going live that “on-road law enforcement” related to stopping motorists who had been summoned for not paying e-toll bills. Sprinter vehicles situated at on-ramps across Gauteng will be equipped to allow for a defaulting motorist to make the payment.

Half the team at these road blocks were to handle law enforcement and were to be provided by the provincial government. The other half handled the “administrative” side which is contracted to Sanral, he said at the time.

Sanral CEO Nazir Alli has previously said that there would be no enforcement processes. Sanral had not commented at the time of going to print.