Gauteng Premier David Makhura. File picture: Paballo Thekiso
Gauteng Premier David Makhura. File picture: Paballo Thekiso

ANC, alliance partners back e-toll review

By Lebogang Seale Time of article published Sep 12, 2014

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Johannesburg - The ANC in Gauteng and its alliance partners in the SACP, Cosatu and SA National Civic Organisation have rallied together to support Premier David Makhura’s decision to review the e-tolling system.

The move could further heighten tension between the ANC’s provincial and national leadership. At the same time, the DA has praised Makhura for “standing firm on his decision to take the findings of the e-toll review panel seriously”.

The DA’s spokesman for roads and transport in Gauteng, Neil Campbell, said: “Despite pressure from national government, insisting that e-tolls in the province will not be scrapped, the premier has reaffirmed that the review process is not a frivolous exercise and that the concerns of citizens will not be ignored. The DA calls on the panel to remain free of political interference.”

Earlier, the ANC in Gauteng suggested that the decision to subject the e-tolling system on the province’s freeways to a review process was non-negotiable.

“This mandate to establish a (review) panel emanates from the ANC Gauteng lekgotla that took place on May 29 and as part of a response to community issues raised during the 2014 elections campaign,” said Gauteng ANC spokesman Dumisa Ntuli.

It was reported last weekend that the e-tolls saga had split the ANC top six, with the governing party’s secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe, and his deputy, Jessie Duarte, allegedly at loggerheads.

Mantashe allegedly ordered officials from the national Department of Transport and roads agency Sanral not to co-operate with the review panel.

Duarte, who is reportedly supporting the review process, was quoted as previously telling her political confidantes that “I would rather go to jail than pay e-tolls”.

Mantashe has denied the allegations of a rift between him and Duarte over e-tolls.

Ntuli suggested that the ANC in Gauteng would not back down from any attempts to stall the review process.

“The process to review the socio-economic impact of e-tolling is the only credible means of testing the public sentiments. We believe that the government must always be on the side of the people and understand community concerns,” he said.

The public resentment of e-tolls hit the ANC hard in May, when the party garnered 53 percent of the votes in Gauteng - down from 64 percent in 2009.

E-tolling has been met with mass civil disobedience since its implementation last year.

The Star

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