Gauteng Premier David Makhura gives his State of the Province Address (SOPA) at the University of Johannesburg Soweto Campus. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency(ANA).

Johannesburg- Premier David Makhura has promised that the issue of e-tolls in Gauteng will be dealt with.

He said this during his State of the Province Address at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto Campus on Monday morning. 

“Our position has not changed on e-tolls. The e-tolls have no future in Gauteng. This matter is in the hands of national government. I heard the minister of transport talking about how to take forward the work of the e-tolls. There is going to be a significant movement on this matter. There is no turning back.” 

Makhura said provincial government was prepared to “put some money where our mouth is” and contribute towards dealing with the debt of e-tolls to show how serious they were about the matter. He said he would be meeting with the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula on Monday afternoon to discuss the way forward. 

The Premier also spoke on plans to increase skills for the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). He said the dream for the province of Gauteng was to be a hub of 4IR skills and a centre of excellence for digital economy breakthroughs such as Artificial Intelligence, crypto currency and big data. 

In addition, Makhura said the R60 billion infrastructure budget will drive an agenda for job creation, economic empowerment and spatial transformation.

He said the budget would go towards improving access to water, sanitation, electricity, housing and roads in deprived areas, including completing the urban renewal projects.

He also added that the money would go towards facilitating the creation of 100 000 jobs in the construction sector.

Makhura said that Gauteng alone over the past 25 years has had a housing backlog estimated at 1 million due to in-migration and rapid urbanization.

“Our Social Development Department is being strengthened to help drive the agenda to end urban poverty and hunger. This includes a clean-up of the Department to bring to book corrupt officials who have hijacked programmes which are meant to empower poor households,” he said.