No blacklisting for e-toll judgments
Credit Bureau Association says e-toll judgments may not be reflected on your credit profile
The Credit Bureau Association says e-toll judgments may not be reflected on your credit profile. But that doesn't mean you can ignore a summons.
Recently, the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) was reported as saying that anyone against whom an e-toll default judgment was granted would be blacklisted. However, the Credit Bureau Association (CBA) has made it clear that credit bureaus are not entitled to load judgments related to e-tolls onto consumers’ profiles.
The ETC had applied to the courts for roughly 1,400 default judgments that would force those who haven’t paid their accounts to settle. These default judgments would result in the automatic blacklisting of each person ruled against. Default judgments take place when a debtor does not respond to or defend a summons.
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However, the CBA says the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Act of 2013, which amended the South African National Roads Agency Limited and National Roads Act of 1998, specifically excludes the levying and collecting of e-tolls from the provisions of the National Credit Act of 2005.
“Information relating to e-tolls / Sanral will not be held on the credit bureaus,” the CBA statement read.
The group said any information relating to e-tolls / Sanral which has been inadvertently loaded onto a consumer profile will be removed.
According to the CBA, those who are aware of information relating to an e-tolls judgment on their consumer profiles may contact the following credit bureaus to lodge a dispute and have the information removed: Compuscan, Consumer Profile Bureau, Experian, TransUnion, Vericred and Xpert Decision Systems.
This follows the recent blacklisting of a Gauteng resident for owing R60,000 in unpaid e-toll bills. The motorist was applying for credit when it was discovered they had been blacklisted after Sanral obtained a default judgment against them.
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has welcomed this clarity from the CBA.
"OUTA remains committed to ending Gauteng’s irrational e-tolls permanently and is managing almost 2,000 cases on behalf of its supporters against Sanral," said Wayne Duvenage, CEO of OUTA. "We are in the advanced stages of the test case.
"Motorists are advised not to ignore a Sanral summons related to e-toll debts and if they have any queries, check out OUTA’s website or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org."
It's estimated that 70% of drivers don't pay e-tolls and that Sanral is owed R11bn in unpaid fees. Despite widespread public opposition to the system, finance minister Tito Mboweni, in his February 20 budget speech, reiterated his stance on the user-pays principle on toll roads, meaning e-tolls could be with us for a while longer.