The South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) has removed a feature on its website that allowed anyone to check the outstanding e-toll fees of any vehicle.
The website of the state-owned company previously allowed visitors to check e-toll dues by entering any licence plate number, with SANRAL denying it went against the right to privacy.
“SANRAL is of the view that the current system provided on SANRAL’s website which allows users to access outstanding amounts owed for a 7 day period, by entering their vehicle licence plate number does not constitute a violation of privacy in terms of legislation relating to privacy and protection of data,” spokesperson Vusi Mona told HumanIPO.
Mona also denied it was possible to track cars in real time on the platform.
“The portal gives a road user the outstanding balance for a period of 7 days prior to the internet enquiry. It gives no route, or travel pattern details, but merely a balance.”
The portal has now been taken down, however, with SANRAL saying “due to the misinformation and concerns raised about this electronic option” it was had disabled it until a login functionality could be implemented, though Mona stood by the system.
OUTA had accused SANRAL of lying about e-tag sales after Mona said 890,388 e-tags had been committed, with the lobby group saying its own research showed sales were less than half those claimed by the state-owned company.
Opposition to e-tolling remains strong, with opponents such as the Freedom Front Plus (FFP), the Democratic Alliance (DA), the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) and civil rights organisation AfriForum all joining OUTA in the fight against the the controversial policy.
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