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E-toll debt collection a nuisance, harassment - Outa

Feb 20 2016 10:00
Carin Smith

Cape Town - The latest e-toll debt collection efforts constitute nothing other than a nuisance and harassment, civil rights body the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) said on Friday.

Outa claimed "thousands of motorists" are feeling intimidated by a new round of threatening e-toll debt messages carrying an ITC-logo. Outa alleges the ITC brand belongs to a collection companies known as "ITC Business Administrators" (ITC-BA), acting on behalf of Sanral.

Outa alleges ITC-BA are not a credit listing agents and are unable to blacklist individuals. It vowed not to let the public be victimised "by business players trying to make a quick buck at motorists' expense".

"Debt collectors are legally obliged to conduct themselves consistently with certain pieces of legislation. A failure to do so can in some circumstances even be a criminal offence," Outa said in a statement.

READ: Outa: Toll roads have become cash cows

In the view of Wayne Duvenage, chair of Outa, motorists need not fear these latest debt collection "letters of intimidation when in fact they have no teeth in this regard".

Duvenage called on motorists to "remain steadfast as they have done for over two years" and not to buckle under what it deems to be Sanral's "illegitimate" e-toll scheme.
 
He urged the recipients of these e-toll debt notices from ITC-BA to call the number listed therein and demand that their contact details and names be removed from this list, as the road user has not provided this company or Sanral with this information.

"Questions have arisen as to where Sanral or this company obtained the database containing the personal information,” said Duvenage.

Earlier this week the Automobile Association (AA) advised Gauteng motorists that the price of e-tolls on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) roads, is set to increase by almost 5% on 1 March.

These increases to the toll rates come barely six months after the tariffs were reduced as a result of a public outcry, and discounts of up to 60% were offered on outstanding balances before September 2015.

ALSO READ: AA slams Sanral's e-toll fees SMS

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outa  |  automobile association  |  sanral  |  sa economy  |  etolls

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