File photo: Bongiwe Mchunu / Independent Media.

Johannesburg - The ANC’s newly elected Gauteng leadership has promised to push for the scrapping of the much-loathed e-tolling system.

“The conference agreed that e-tolls must go,” provincial secretary Jacob Khawe said after the elective conference held over the weekend, in which Premier David Makhura was elected as provincial chairperson.

“The conference received and welcomed the report on the e-tolls and called on provincial government to expedite its negotiations with national government to find a permanent solution to this saga.”

Although Makura promised that the regional division of the ruling party had a “plan” to get rid of the e-tolling system, there were no details pertaining to how this would be achieved.

In the past there were numerous calls for the outstanding debt incurred by the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project to rather be absorbed by a fuel levy, but that’s likely to prove an even bigger political own goal, given that motorists and commuters are already on edge following months of steep fuel price increases.

Makhura already admitted, in February this year, that e-tolls had failed, with the compliance rate among e-toll users standing at just 29 percent in 2017, according to Sanral’s 2017 Annual Report.

Back then Makhura said that the new dawn (following President Ramaphosa’s coming to power) must also bring a solution to the “protracted and unresolved problem” of e-tolls. The Premier promised to engage with Ramaphosa to find “a new and more equitable funding model”.

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