The premier says he is prepared to contribute money from Gauteng’s government to help finalise the end of the unpopular system.
At his first state of the province address (Sopa) since the convening of the sixth parliament, Gauteng Premier David Makhura committed to making good on his commitment to scrapping the hugely unpopular urban tolling system, e-tolls.
“One of the issues that remain on my radar screen is the final resolution of the e-toll matter,” he said.
“Our position has not changed. We remain determined to ensure that e-tolls are not part of the future of our province.”
The premier added that he was willing to pledge money from Gauteng’s coffers to contribute to the end of the e-tolling system.
“We anxiously await the finalisation of details by the national government on the mechanics of settling the debt.
“We are even prepared to contribute something as the provincial government to ensure the e-tolls are scrapped. There is no turning back.”
At the beginning of June, Makhura said at a press conference that election promises made by the ANC in Gauteng about abolishing e-tolls were not just hot air.
Makhura said he was pressuring newly appointed transport minister Fikile Mbalula to act, adding that he was expecting new transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo to work with the national government to achieve this.
“I am confident that in Gauteng we will look to a future without e-tolls. Urban tolling cannot work… to toll a compact and small area like our province creates big problems. The cost is enormous for that,” said Makhura.
“This has nothing to do with the issue of user pay… it is not a statement against user pay. He said he was not against other tolls, because he pays them when he travels on national roads which are tolled. Urban tolling is like going to Durban every hour and you can’t avoid it. The cost of the working people is huge,” he said.
The premier also said he was discussing the issue with President Cyril Ramaphosa. EWN reported Makhura as saying: “And I want to say it again, e-tolls are not of my agenda and we have done a lot. I hope that the campaign is over, and it won’t be a temptation to politicise it, it will be resolved like any other policy issue.”