SANRAL stands by e-toll advert figures

SANRAL stands by e-toll advert figures

Figures regarding the costs incurred by e-toll road users in advertisements were correct and have been verified by an independent auditor, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) has said.

HumanIPO reported on Monday the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld three complaints against SANRAL finding the agency used incorrect and misleading information in certain of its advertisements.

Among the complaints upheld, ASA found SANRAL’s claims regarding the monthly costs incurred by e-toll road users were “flawed and ambiguous, if not disingenuous”, and calculations submitted in proof of the claims were incorrect.

SANRAL issued an apology, insisting the adverts were not intended to mislead the public, but suggested confusion could have arisen from complicated terminologies.

The agency today said independent auditors were asked to verify the information regarding the monthly cost of e-tolls for road users, and the figures were found to be correct, with SANRAL having informed the ASA of the new auditors’ report.

“Based on the feedback of the independent auditors, SANRAL maintains that the figures used were correct. In this regard a response, inclusive of the conclusions reached by the independent auditors, has been forwarded to ASA today,” SANRAL said.

The agency said it hoped for a different finding based on the new verified information.

“SANRAL is encouraged by the results from the independent auditors. We trust that the new facts provided to the ASA will lead to a different finding,” said Vusi Mona, spokesperson for SANRAL.

“This ruling has put the spotlight on the release of unaudited information which is a normal business practice but unaudited figures do not and should not substitute the requirement for an external audit.”

The subject of one of the other complaints upheld, questioning the figures provided by SANRAL regarding the number of users registered for e-tolls, are currently being audited, and the results will be released when available, SANRAL said.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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