Johannesburg - The panel that will examine the effect e-tolling has had in Gauteng will meet for the first time on Thursday, the provincial government said.
Premier David Makhura announced the names of 10 of the 15 members of the panel last Thursday.
“If we were not serious we wouldn't announce that this matter required our attention... We wouldn't come this far,” Makhura said at the time.
“When we meet with the panel... we will discuss that it is a matter of public interest.”
The meeting will start with a photo opportunity for the media and the panel will then get down to the business of discussing the controversial system which started operating across Gauteng on December 3, following several court challenges and widespread public opposition.
The panel members are: chairman Muxe Nkondo, Patricia Hanekom, John Ngcebetsha, Vuyo Mahlathi, Luci Abrahams, Fiona Tregenna, Anna Mokgokong, John Sampson, Lauretta Teffo, and Chris Malikane. Five more members were expected to be announced later, Makhura said.
The panel was tasked with inviting proposals and submissions from Gauteng residents on proposed solutions to e-tolling. It would submit its finding and recommendations to the provincial government.
“The panel is expected to present monthly reports, and final report and recommendations to the Gauteng provincial government by 30 November 2014.”
On Tuesday Transport Minister Dipuo Peters announced a “reprieve” for the users of Gauteng's toll roads.
She said users would “have an extended payment period of 51 days, from the day they pass through the gantry, as opposed to the (current) seven days”.
They would also receive the time-of-day discount.
On September 25, President Jacob Zuma signed into law the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill, giving the go-ahead for e-tolling in Gauteng.