SA credit bureaus: E-toll bills will not affect your credit score

The controversy that surrounded  the e-tolls, has now been clarified by the Credit Bureau Association (CBA).

According to its statement, the Credit Bureau Association (CBA) has responded to claims from the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) company that road users will be blacklisted if they do not pay their e-tolls.

The toll collection company, which is tasked with collecting owed fees from Gauteng’s e-toll project, said this week that motorists who failed to pay their e-tolls, and ignored court summonses, would be left with a default order against their name, which would lead to them being blacklisted by credit bureaus.

This follows weekend reports of a Gauteng motorist who was surprised to find he had been blacklisted for owing R60,000 in e-toll fees.

However, according to the CBA this was likely an error.

“The Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Act, 2013, which amended the South African National Roads Agency Limited and National Roads Act, 1998, specifically excludes the levying and collecting of e-tolls from the provisions of the National Credit Act, 2005,” it said.

“Credit bureaus receive, hold, display and remove consumer information in accordance with the provisions of the NCA and accordingly are not able to hold information which is specifically excluded from the provisions of the NCA.”

“On behalf of our represented credit bureaus, would like to advise consumers, that information relating to e-tolls / Sanral will not be held on the credit bureaus.”

The group said that any information relating to e-tolls / Sanral which has been inadvertently loaded onto a consumer profile will be removed.

“If any consumer is aware that information relating to e-tolls / SANRAL has been loaded to his / her consumer profile, please contact one of the credit bureaus listed below to lodge a dispute and this information will be removed,” it said.

The CBA represents Compuscan, Consumer Profile Bureau, Experian, TransUnion, Vericred, and Xpert Decision Systems.

ETC and Sanral are going after non-payers

ETC this week made it clear that it was going after those who refused to pay e-tolls by seeking default judgements against them.

The collection company said it issues between 2,000 and 4,000 summonses per month, and has applied for 1,400 default judgments against motorists, which it claimed could lead to them being automatically blacklisted if granted.

Default judgments arise when a debtor does not respond to or defend a summons.

ETC’s Coenie Vermaak told EWN that drivers would have received sufficient notice, firstly via SMS to settle their account. Following that, a letter of demand is then sent, and if ignored, it is followed by a summons themselves and, “then we apply to the courts for default judgment”.

Civil action group Outa recently warned that Sanral was pushing ahead with its plan to obtain default judgements against motorists who do not pay their e-tolls, and advised that summonses not be ignored, lest the default judgements lead to credit problems.

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