File photo: Karen Sandison African News Agency (ANA).

JOHANNESBURG - It is clear that the government has absolutely no plans to scrap e-tolls in Gauteng, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.

"A solution to e-tolls in Gauteng must be found as a matter of urgency," DA Gauteng shadow MEC for roads and transport Fred Nel said in a statement.

"The Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula announced on Thursday that the deadline for making a pronouncement on e-tolls has once again been moved. Minister Mbalula gave no clear indication as to when this will happen, as they need more time to consult with stakeholders," he said.

During a question and answer session in the Gauteng legislature earlier this month, premier David Makhura indicated that there was no need for an intergovernmental dispute to be declared.

"It is clear that the ANC government has absolutely no plans to scrap e-tolls in Gauteng. The DA has always been against the implementation of e-tolls, as it is [an] unfair tax burden on our already overburdened residents," Nel said.

If a small percentage of the fuel levy, or even the pipeline supply levy, was put towards the project from the start, it could already have been paid off. Instead the fuel levy was being used to bail out mismanaged state-owned enterprises (SoEs).

Also, if the collection contract was not renewed this could have saved Sanral over R600 million per year that could have gone towards paying off the e-toll loans.

If e-tolls were not scrapped before the year ends, then the e-toll collection contract, which was due to end on December 2, could be renewed, which was affordable. The DA would continue to put pressure on the government to find a way to scrap e-tolls, Nel said.

African News Agency (ANA)