Picture: Karen Sandison / African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: Karen Sandison / African News Agency (ANA)

Talks to rejig e-tolls proposed

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Oct 31, 2019

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Johannesburg - The ANC in Gauteng said it was willing to meet Finance Minister Tito Mboweni over its proposals on the reconfiguration of e-tolls.

ANC provincial secretary Jacob Khawe said on Wednesday that despite Mboweni’s previous stance on e-tolls that people would pay, they welcomed the fact the e-tolls would be reconfigured following consultations between stakeholders.

Key stakeholders include Gauteng Premier David Makhura and the minister of transport.

Khawe said they would like to make their proposals to Mboweni.

“We welcome the minister’s different stance. In the previous speech, he would have said pay for e-tolls.

“Today he speaks about what we have been saying, that the Cabinet has mandated him to discuss with the minister of transport and the premier to reconfigure the e-tolls.”

He said after listening to Mboweni yesterday, they would want to meet him.

The ANC in Gauteng wants to present its suggestions on the system. “We have made a call that the State of the Nation address in February clarifies this matter once and for all,” said Khawe.

The report of Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu previously found that the collection revenue had declined by 63%. This decreased from R1.87billion in the previous financial year to R687.7million in the financial year ending March.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse said motorists would still boycott the payment of e-tolls.

Outa chief executive Wayne Duvenage said there was no need for the government to stick to a system that was not working. “We believe Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula is due to make a major announcement on e-tolls on Thursday.

But if recent comments by the various ministers are anything to go by, we are not expecting him to cancel the scheme, despite the fact that in virtually all the government’s engagements with civil society and business organisations they were called on to scrap it,” said Duvenage.

In his Mini-Budget speech in Parliament on Wednesday, Mboweni said “the e-tolls are not going anywhere”.

He said they supported the userpay principle and he urged motorists to pay their e-tolls. President Cyril Ramaphosa had ordered Mboweni to resolve the impasse with his transport counterpart Mbalula.

The two ministers were supposed to report back to the Cabinet two months ago, but the deadline was extended. However, Mboweni said yesterday that the e-tolls were back.

“The government has decided to retain the user-pay principle. While there will be a further dispensation and value-added services compliance will also be strengthened,” said Mboweni.

He said people must pay for e-tolls to fix the state of the road network.

Political Bureau

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