E-TOLL gantry on the N12 highway south of Johannesburg. Photo: Nicholas Rama/African News Agency(ANA)

PRETORIA - The African National Congress (ANC) in Gauteng on Sunday expressed disappointment at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s stance regarding the controversial e-tolls on Gauteng’s freeways.

“We really must say to you Mr President that we are deeply disappointed at the fact that your speech [the state-of-the-nation-address] said nothing about scrapping of e-tolls. The e-tolls have not worked in our province and the overwhelming majority of Gauteng motorists continue to refuse to pay,” ANC Gauteng secretary Jacob Khawe said in an open letter to Ramaphosa.

“This, coupled with regular increases in fuel costs, drives up the cost of doing business and disproportionately diminishes the disposable incomes of both the middle strata and poor households,” he said.

At its recently held provincial executive committee lekgotla, the Gauteng structure committed to once again engage Ramaphosa and government departments “on the ideas and strategies we have developed on alternative funding and proposal for the payment of the debt being owed”, Khawe said.

In November last year, Gauteng premier and provincial ANC chairman David Makhura said e-tolls had "no future" as long as the ANC remained in charge of the province.

“The e-tolls have no future in the plans of this province as long as as the ANC is in charge. The e-tolls can only have a future in this Gauteng if the ANC is not in charge," Makhura said at the time.

Makhura led thousands of ANC members - marching with the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu), the South African Communist Party, civic society organisations such as the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa), and members of the public - to the Union Buildings demanding that e-tolls be scrapped. He said the majority of people who drove past the e-tolls daily were the working class and middle class South Africans.

African News Agency (ANA)