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Thursday, 19 January 2012

URGENT - SA ROAD TOLLS.


e-tag billing shock


etolling jan 17
INLSA
Despite e-tolling on Gauteng s freeways having been delayed
 last week, Sanral has continued encouraging motorists to
 register for e-tags, which could be illegal. Photo: Mujahid
 Safodien
The SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) not only wants
 your money – it also wants access to all your bank details
 and financial accounts.
The Department of Transport postponed e-tolling on Gauteng’s
 freeways on Friday, weeks before the system was due to go
 live next month. This is the second time the department has
 suspended the multibillion-rand project.
Despite this, Sanral has continued its advertising campaign,
 encouraging motorists to register for e-tags. But the
 registration of the e-tags may be illegal in terms of the
 Consumer Protection Act.
This is according to various organisations who have analysed
 the terms and conditions of e-tag accounts.
At the centre of their concerns is clause 33 of Sanral’s terms
 and conditions, which states that: “The user hereby
 irrevocably authorises the Agency or its duly authorised
 agent to obtain from any institution where the user may
 have an account, or from any credit bureau, any information
 concerning the user. This clause constitutes consent and
 an instruction to each such institution to disclose such
 information to the Agency or its agent.”
[All the new technology being implemented for registering
 devices, such as RICA, have been specifically designed to
 capture data. It is all about controlling informaiton on
 people. The question is... WHY?]
Dr Cliff Johnston, from the SA National Consumer Union
 (Sancu), said this goes against the Financial Services Act,
 which states that an institution may not request more
 information than is needed.
“So they may see if you have been blacklisted. But what
 if you have? Will that mean you won’t be able to register?
 Will you not be able to use the road then? How will Sanral
 deal with those cases?” Johnston asked.
Sancu intended to complain about the terms and conditions
 to the National Consumer Tribunal before the suspension. It
 is now planning to approach Sanral’s new board to point out
 the illegalities in the conditions.
Another contentious term, said Johnston, was that “Sanral’s
 information is correct unless you can prove otherwise. So if
 someone fraudulently copies your licence plate, Sanral will
 remove money from your account. How are you going to
 prove it wasn’t your car? This is illegal in terms of the
 Consumer Protection Act.”
[Read this a hundred times if you have to, but make sure that
 it sinks in. They are saying that your silence = guilt. If you
 are silent, they have the right to continue whatever they
 want against you based on the information already in the
 agreement (ie. the registration). One of Johan Joubert's
 assertions was that if they can do this to us, then we can
 do it to them! If we send a bank, corporation or government
 departnment an agreement by way of affidavit, or
 amendement to the agreement, and they do not respond,
 their silence = guilt! What's good for the goose is good for
 the gander. Listen to Johan's interviews above, especially
 interviews 9 & 10. To break the shackles of corporate greed
 and tyranny, we need to use their very laws against them.
Another controversial term was that you must supply Sanral
 with your bank account details, giving it access to debit money
 from the account “once the user’s e-toll account balance goes
 below the user’s predefined top-up threshold level”.
Johnston said Sancu was initially encouraging people to register
 for an e-toll account, but only on the prepaid option, without
 giving banking details.
“But we soon realised Sanral would not register you without
 your bank details.
“What if you are poor and don’t have a bank account? Does
 that mean you won’t be allowed to drive on the roads?”
For road users who do not register for an e-tag, Sanral’s terms
 are that motorists must pay for the toll within seven days or
 they will be punished. But Johnston said this was impossible
 as it would take far longer for the notice to be posted to you
 and payment made.
The DA has taken its concerns one step further by sending a
 complaint of infringements by Sanral to the National
 Consumer Tribunal in terms of the Consumer Protection Act
: that users have to give access to their bank accounts for
 unknown amounts; there is a high possibility of fraud as
 10 percent of all licence plates are cloned or fraudulent;
 there is no clarity on how disputed amounts will be
 refunded; there are undisclosed administration fees
 (R5 for posted statements and 20c for each sms);
 identification by e-tag as opposed to number plate is
 unclear; and certain road users (minibus taxis and buses) 
are exempted, leading to unfair discrimination.
Sanral had not responded to queries at the time of going to print.
What they don’t tell you
* Users have to give access to their bank accounts for unknown
 amounts;
* There is a high possibility of fraud as 10 percent of all licence
 plates are cloned or fraudulent;
* There is no clarity on how disputed amounts will be refunded;
* There are undisclosed administration fees (R5 for post
 statements and 20c for each sms);
* Identification by e-tag as opposed to number plate is unclear;
 and
* Certain road users (minibus taxis and buses) are exempted,
 leading to unfair discrimination. - The Star
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