Johannesburg - The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse on Wednesday said Gauteng premier David Makhura, who has admitted the e-toll project was a mistake, should stop such payments for his provincial fleet.
The non-profit civil action organisation said the provincial government should end Gauteng’s financial shortfall contribution of R123 million per year, set out for the next 22 years.
On Monday while delivering his state of the province address, Premier Makhura admitted that the e-toll project "was a mistake".
He also conceded his administration had failed to resolve the dispute around e-tolls and said that only the national government could break the impasse.
“I must admit publicly, as I did last year, that all the efforts we have made through the advisory panel have not led to the resolution of concerns of Gauteng motorists regarding affordability," said Makhura. "We have tried our best. The ultimate solution can only come from national level.”
'Take a stand'
The organisation's portfolio director for transport, Ben Theron, said however that although the premier had confirmed the province was not in favour of e-tolls, it disagreed with his view that a resolution was beyond his reach and in the hands of national government.
"The fact is the Gauteng provincial leadership should have intervened on this matter back in 2007 when they had the opportunity to do so," he said.
"The City of Cape Town’s action to halt the Winelands tolling project provides a fine example of how local government is able to take a stand and halt the abusive conduct of a state-owned entity."
Outa contends that most of the 20 percent of road users who actually pay e-tolls are corporate fleets and rental companies, who merely pass the costs on to their customers. File photo: Adrian de Kock
Theron added that the premier's assertion that “there will be no e-tolls on our new roads”, confirmed Outa's position that the e-toll system had failed as an urban road funding mechanism.
“We are concerned that Premier Makhura did not react as he should have to society's rejection of the scheme during the e-Toll Socio-economic advisory panel sessions in 2014,” Theron said.
“The outcome of that process was an opportunity lost by the province to do more in placing national leadership and Sanral under pressure to halt the scheme at the time.”
African News Agency (ANA)