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Fri Oct 31 08:17:32 SAST 2014

Avoid paying e-tolls by travelling at 113km/h

Graeme Hosken | 01 April, 2014 00:01
The whistle-blower claimed that, because of a flaw in their design, the e-tolling cameras cannot read the licence plates of vehicles travelling at a certain speed. File photo
Image by: RUSSELL ROBERTS

Gauteng motorists could escape paying e-tolls thanks to engineering and administrative design failures by Sanral.

Newspapers at the weekend published damning allegations by a whistle-blower employed by Kapsch - the Austrian company responsible for the development of the e-tolling system used in Gauteng.

The allegations, which have been passed on to the public protector's office, imply that Gauteng motorists have been lied to.

The whistle-blower claimed that, because of a flaw in their design, the e-tolling cameras cannot read the licence plates of vehicles travelling at a certain speed.

Documents seen by The Times and confirmed by Sanral insiders show that, if motorists travel at exactly 113km/h, the special camera systems cannot capture their vehicle's registration number.

Kapsch has warned Sanral to remove the glitch from the system, known as Prying on Every Person Holding Out Legally (Poephol).

A Kapsch document stated: "Right from the word go we warned Sanral to ensure that they had a highly secure Poephol.

"They just would not listen. Now their Poephol system, unlike those in Europe where this is administered successfully, is flawed."

A Poephol system administrator, Moegoe Dlamini, admitted the flaw.

"These documents are damning. Our system will collapse.

"With everyone travelling at 113km/h there will be no way we can collect the money we owe to our overseas funders. We thought naming the gantries after birds would help distract motorists from the fees - but now this has happened.

"The system is damned," said Dlamini. Sanral declined to comment.

UPDATE: This is our April Fool's story for 2014

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