An e-toll gantry on the N1 highway. File photo: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)
Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa will take the final decision on the future of Gauteng’s despised e-tolling system.

Gauteng premier David Makhura announced on Friday that the e-tolls had been referred to Ramaphosa for a final determination on alternative options of settling the debt incurred to build the country’s national roads.

“I am confident that a solution will be found. Once the debt is settled, we will be able to maintain our roads without the e-toll system,” he said.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse, which has been fighting e-tolls since the government announced plans to roll out the system, said the country is owed R67 billion accumulated by the SA National Roads Agency in building the country’s freeways.

Makhura tabled the last political report of his first term as premier at the provincial legislature. He attributed the improvement in quality of life and governance to the pro-poor fiscal policies and anti-poverty programmes of his administration.

Addressing ANC members after tabling the report, Makhura, who is also the party’s chairperson in the province, encouraged them to use it while campaigning for the May 2019 elections. “It’s campaign time, it (the report) gives you information and the tools but we need to localise it,” he said.

He added that the report described 25 years of ANC governance in Gauteng.

The ANC is likely to face a major challenge in next year’s polls after it lost the country’s biggest metropolitan municipalities in the 2016 local government elections.

The report follows the release of national and provincial audit results by Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu.

Makwetu found that Gauteng was the second-best performing province after the Western Cape, having achieved 52% clean audits in the 2017/18 financial year.

The Western Cape obtained 83% clean audits.

Makhura said Gauteng had made huge strides over the past four years in ensuring clean governance. The province’s departments and entities achieved 100% unqualified audits in two successive years - 2016/17 and 2017/18. It was also the only province that achieved 100% unqualified audits in 2017/18.

He also said his administration had introduced strong anti-corruption and integrity promotion measures across various departments in order to rid the province of any corrupt elements.

“We now have an effective instrument where, through close collaboration with the Special Investigating Unit, all old cases are being attended to and new ones immediately, when they arise. We mean business,” he said.

Political Bureau