What to do about e-toll debt collection
To pay or not to pay
The decision on whether or not to pay e-tolls is up to you. You must decide this, bearing in mind the consequences if you do not pay.
If you don’t pay, you will eventually end up in SANRAL’s debt collection process.
If you passed under the e-toll gantries and don’t pay, you will receive invoices in the post from SANRAL or its collection agency Electronic Toll Collection (ETC).
You decide whether to pay or not.
If you don’t pay, your account will eventually be handed over to SANRAL’s debt collectors.
The debt collectors
SANRAL or ETC may hire debt collectors.
You are entitled to ask them to confirm that they are indeed acting for SANRAL or ETC, and you may ask them to provide confirmation of their mandate.
You have the right to check whether the debt collectors are registered with the Council for Debt Collectors. If they are not, you may consider complaining to the Council.
SMSes and phone calls
Those who don’t pay may receive text messages or phone calls from SANRAL or ETC or debt collectors.
SANRAL or ETC cannot collect money based only on a text message or a phone call so, if you did not receive invoices, you are entitled to ask for these.
Again, you decide whether to pay or not.
If you don’t pay or don’t respond to these, it’s the same as ignoring the invoices: you are not yet in the legal process but are heading there.
You cannot be blacklisted for failing to pay at this point: that only happens after a debt judgment is obtained against you.
Letter of demand
If you’ve ignored text messages or phone calls, or ignored invoices, you will eventually get a letter of demand. This is a letter by registered post.
This usually comes from SANRAL’s official collection agency (ETC). This letter is a legal document but is not yet the start of the court proceedings, it is warning you that proceedings are about to start.
This letter will stipulate a time frame (such as 10 days or 14 days) within which you have to pay the debt or make arrangements to pay the debt.
You decide whether to pay or not; if you decide to pay, you may be able to make arrangements with the debt collectors to pay the debt in instalments.
If you ignore this, a summons may follow. If you delayed collecting the registered letter, you may find that a summons is already on the way.
OUTA supporters should inform us if they receive a summons, to get help on the legal process as fast as possible.
The summons is the start of the legal process. Do not ignore it. Do not pretend you did not receive it.
The summons has a very short deadline for you to respond, so act fast.
The summons will likely go to the same address as the letter of demand.
A summons may be served on you personally anywhere, or it may be served on the legal address (your domicilium address) you have listed with SANRAL or on the eNaTIS vehicle registration database. If it’s served on your legal address, it may be left on your gate or left with another adult at your address. There are various legal methods of serving the summons.
If you are a contributing OUTA supporter, please immediately alert OUTA to the fact that you have received a summons. An OUTA legal advisor will contact you to obtain the legal documents and other relevant documentation, whereafter the legal advisor will instruct OUTA’s attorneys of record to defend your case.
If you are not an OUTA supporter, we recommend you find a lawyer fast and take advice on what to do.
A default judgment should receive urgent attention as an application to have the judgment rescinded is time sensitive.
Do not ignore a summons. If you do, you risk having SANRAL get a default judgment against you and even being blacklisted. A default judgment means you have to pay immediately and, if there is an attachment order, the sheriff of the court may seize your goods to pay the debt. You may not find out about this until you are blacklisted and find you can’t get credit. It is possible to rescind (overturn) a default judgment, but you may have to prove you didn’t receive the summons and overturning it involves further litigation which gets very, very expensive.
If you get a default judgment against you, you will not be covered by OUTA’s e-toll defence umbrella. OUTA may be able to direct you to a lawyer but OUTA cannot help you in this and will not pay to get a default judgment rescinded.
If you are a paying OUTA supporter and need to contact us, click here.
If you are not an OUTA supporter and need to contact us, click here.
If you want to join OUTA and get under the e-toll defence umbrella, click here.
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