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Vanished e-tolls: You still have to pay them

Cars drive under a road toll in Johannesburg December 2, 2013. South Africa's government launched a widely unpopular road toll around the economic hub of Johannesburg on Tuesday, a move likely to heighten tensions with its union allies and alienate some voters in the run-up to next year's elections. The electronic levies, known as e-tolls, have fuelled public anger and strained relations between President Jacob Zuma's African National Congress (ANC) and COSATU, the labour federation that has supported the ruling party since the end of apartheid in 1994. Picture taken December 2, 2013. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS TRANSPORT)

Cars drive under a road toll in Johannesburg December 2, 2013. South Africa's government launched a widely unpopular road toll around the economic hub of Johannesburg on Tuesday, a move likely to heighten tensions with its union allies and alienate some voters in the run-up to next year's elections. The electronic levies, known as e-tolls, have fuelled public anger and strained relations between President Jacob Zuma's African National Congress (ANC) and COSATU, the labour federation that has supported the ruling party since the end of apartheid in 1994. Picture taken December 2, 2013. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS TRANSPORT)

Published Feb 4, 2016

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Johannesburg - E-toll debt hasn’t disappeared; all debt before September 2015 has simply been ring-fenced.

This was the explanation given by Electronic Toll Collection chief operating officer Mark Ridgway for e-toll debt not reflecting on some accounts.

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Ridgway was responding to a media release by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse which said it had been informed by hundreds of people that their outstanding e-toll balances had mysteriously disappeared.

Outa questions e-toll write-offs

Outa said it appeared certain e-toll accounts were being written off. These motorists had e-toll debts worth thousands of rand, which now appeared to be reduced to a few rand.

Ridgway said Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa allowed a discount on outstanding balances before September 2015 and this debt had been ring-fenced to collect discounted balances. He said all transactions after that period formed part of a different tariff and discount structure.

“Those who received invoices or enquired on the Violation Processing Centre website would only see balances due since 1 September 2015, and these would exclude prior balances that have been ring-fenced and are subject to a one-off 60 percent discount,” he said.

Ridgway said speculation that the system had written off debt was disinformation “spread by individuals who clutch at conjecture to avoid facing the fact that payment must be made”.

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