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Op-Ed: South Africans protesting ANC's e-toll scam on Jan 25

By Matthew Hendricks     Jan 25, 2014 in Technology
Johannesburg - Who would have thought that so many South Africans from all walks of life could stand together for a common cause? South Africans have had enough of the ANC government's highly questionable e-toll monstrosity.
Dead people have been receiving demands to pay their e-toll bill. People living in Cape Town have been told to pay up even though they have never been to Gauteng. And many people have been sent demands in the post, several pages long (including photographs) to pay just a few rands. The ANC's SANRAL are even tripling the e-tolls fees and then “encouraging” people to get a 60 percent discount (which is actually the normal amount) by buying an e-tag. So says gosouthonline.co.za.
That is why today, in addition to the biker community protesting against e-tolls, thousands of other South Africans in any and all vehicles (and without) will be protesting against e-tolls too, according to many related Facebook groups.
Gosouthonline.co.za reports that the public response was so overwhelming that the area had to be enlarged drastically. The protest will now start between 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. at the Portuguese hall (Crusaders Club House), cnr. Wemmer Pan Road and Victoria road, Johannesburg South. GPS S26• 14’ 28.3” E028• 03’ 71.1”.
The route will be from the Portuguese Hall to the Comarro on-ramp, and from there North as per plan and end back at the Portuguese hall.
The Facebook group Tollcrusher would like to remind South Africans to bring their e-toll invoices along so that these can be burned in public.
To help the thousands of victims of the e-toll scam, GoSouthOnline.co.za gives these tips on how to handle e-toll debt collectors:
1. Deny that you owe that specific amount.
2. State that you are unsure whether you are the person they are looking for.
3. Demand original invoices and original written agreements proving that you actually owe this amount.
4. Remember, the second you make a payment, you admit the debt.
By paying, you are confirming / ratifying that your address is correct so they know where to find you. You are also confirming that a contract is in place and you are agreeing to be bound by the terms and conditions of that e-tolls contract, however unfair or selfish it may be.
You can also join one of the many Facebook groups against e-tolling, like this one, this one or this one.
As the queues at Sanral's e-tolling centres get longer and its website’s crashes become more frequent, hundreds of complaints are streaming in that the system is a disaster, with money inexplicably appearing in and disappearing from road users' e-toll accounts.
Howard Dembovsky, head of the Justice Project South Africa, says it's no accident. The time wastage is on purpose in order to deter people from protesting charges, reports iol.co.za.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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