20 November 2012

South Africa: E-Toll Roadblocks a Hoax - Sanral

Pretoria — The alleged 'roadblocks' by employees of the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) forcing motorists to register for e-tags was a hoax.

Sanral commissioned auditing firm, Deloitte, to undertake an independent investigation following media reports and circulation of chain emails alleging that Sanral officials were threatening motorists with severe fines in an attempt to coerce them into registering for e-tags.

"An independent investigation, conducted earlier this year, found that there was no evidence to support any of the claims made, and that have since re-emerged, that employees of Sanral or its suppliers had conducted roadblocks and threatened motorists on highways in Johannesburg and Pretoria, or at any other point," said Sanral in a statement.

Despite the nature of the investigation, the reputation of the investigators and repeated assurances that identities would be protected, no one with evidence of any roadblock came forward.

Even, Sanral's own investigation showed that there were no roadblocks.

"Despite the calls for witnesses and information, no one has ever contacted the investigators with evidence relevant to the alleged roadblocks. It was accordingly concluded that the allegations remained unsubstantiated," read the statement.

However, as a result of the continued accusations in May and June 2012, Sanral appointed a forensic investigation team from Deloitte to conduct an independent investigation.

Sanral provided all the information regarding the allegations and the contact details of those who had raised complaints with SANRAL to the investigators.

Sanral's contractor similarly granted full access to its records and staff and provided full co-operation. More than a dozen employees deemed by the investigators to be relevant to their enquiries were interviewed.

Further interviews were conducted with the representative of the Justice Project South Africa and an executive member of the Edenvale Community Police Forum.

Sanral advises that if anyone is stopped and forced to register for e-toll or for any reason that is e-toll related at this stage, such action would be illegal and should be reported to the authorities because the company is not carrying out any such enforcement actions.

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