Johannesburg - Motorists will have to wait until early next year to find out whether they will have to continue paying for e-tolls or if a new fuel levy will be implemented – if the national government agrees.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura was tight-lipped yesterday, minutes after receiving the official report.
Makhura left the media guessing about its content after it was handed to him by the panel he appointed to assess the socio-economic impact e-tolls would have on residents.
The panel, set up in July this year, was led by Professor Muxe Nkondo and included other experts such as businesswomen Danisa Baloyi and Dr Vuyo Mahlati.
The media waited for more than an hour for the handover. The briefing was scheduled for 10am at the Emoyeni Conference Centre in Parktown.
Makhura and his entourage arrived at 9.55am. He was immediately ushered to a lengthy meeting with Nkondo and some of the panellists.
When the premier emerged from there, he said he was not aware of the report’s contents.
Makhura barred the media from asking Nkondo and his team to give details of their recommendations.
“I do not know what is in the report. The report will be tabled at the Gauteng provincial executive council.
“Afterwards we will consult with the local municipalities and the national government before we make a determination on the recommendations of the panel,” Makhura said.
Ironically, though, Makhura said the government was going to use the recommendations “to help us face the challenges of public transport infrastructure development”.
“We are going to use the report to help improve governance in the province and investment in infrastructure.”
He said the government would take all submissions seriously.
Political parties had also taken part in the process.
The EFF called for the demolition of e-tolls – which was part of its drawcard ahead of the national elections in May.
The ANC, DA and IFP in Gauteng were unanimous in urging for the implementation of the fuel levy and the e-tolls to be kept and used for tracing and arresting traffic offenders.
Makhura praised the panellists for their hard work and for the extra hours they put in to ensure the report was completed on the set date.
“I wish to reiterate that the Gauteng government will seriously consider the advisory panel’s findings and recommendations,” he said.
Addressing media on the sidelines, Makhura said Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa had been assigned to deal with his government on the matter.