The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) cautioned Gauteng road users not to be deceived by hoax e-mails and messages claiming that money can be collected directly from the bank accounts of people using e-toll roads.
“What started off as an April Fools’ joke has gained momentum and many people are now concerned that SANRAL is illegally taking money from road users,” said Sanral’s communications head Vusi Mona.
“We want to assure the public that Sanral acts strictly within the confines of the legislation pertaining to e-tolling,” he added.
“We are transparent in all our actions and communicate our real intentions through the media, and directly to the public, on a regular basis.”
The message first appeared on the BusinessTech website on 1 April 2014 as an April Fools’ joke.
It alleged that the SA Revenue Service had been allocated the powers to collect money directly from the bank accounts of road users who have not paid their e-toll accounts.
At the bottom of the online report is a link to a page which makes it quite clear that it is an April Fools’ joke.
Mona says it is regrettable that a serious tech website contributed to the spreading of disinformation under the guise of a joke.
“Many people have read the report without following the link and the original report is now also being spread through e-mails,” said Mona.
“There is still a degree of misunderstanding the e-tolling system and unfortunately such hoax reports and e-mails only add to the confusion among road users,” says Mona.