Solly Msimanga. PHOTO: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Premier David Makhura is tiptoeing around the e-tolls issue, Democratic Alliance member of the provincial legislature Solly Msimanga said on Monday.

Reacting to Makhura's State of the Province Address (Sopa), Msimanga claimed the e-tolls contract has been renewed.

''This was like deja vu...he has been saying the same things since 2016. I haven't heard any concrete plans or the real state of the province is in. The premier is saying Ramaphosa is handling e-tolls matter? I tell you right now that the e-tolls contract has been renewed with an option to extend it beyond 2019 with an option towards 2021...he should have the guts to tell the people of Gauteng the truth,'' said Msimanga, who recently resigned as Tshwane mayor to run as the premier candidate for the DA in Gauteng.

Last month, Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) denied that its Gauteng e-toll contract with the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) has been renewed as alleged by Msimanga. The ETC said the contract was extended and not renewed, as per the provisions of the contract entered into between the parties in 2009.  

During his Sopa, Makhura said 21 government teams were ''working hard'' to find a solution to the e- tolls and that President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured him again that the contentious e-tolls was receiving urgent attention. 

Makhura and fellow ANC provincial leaders led a march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria late last year protesting against e-tolls. He told the mainly ANC supporters that e-tolls were not wanted in Gauteng as long as the governing party was in charge.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Gauteng leader Mandisa Mashego said Makhura's speech lacked feedback on projects he announced before.

''The is no real achievements based on his previous state of the province speeches. They haven't paid the Life Esidimeni claimants, e-tolls are a serious crisis...he says they are not opposed to the user-pay principle but says they're against e-tolls...in on sentence. He misled the House,'' said Mashego.

African News Agency (ANA