DA accuses ANC of misleading public about e-tolls

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The much-despised e-toll gantries in Gauteng.
The much-despised e-toll gantries in Gauteng.

Solly Msimanga, City of Tshwane mayor and Democratic Alliance (DA) premier candidate for Gauteng, has challenged the African National Congress (ANC) on the future of e-tolls in the province.

Update

ITWeb has learned that Msimanga has resigned from his role as mayor of the City of Tshwane since publishing this story.
Msimanga says the decision was not made lightly or hastily, adding that he has done so because he believe "it best serves the interests of the people of Tshwane, and Gauteng as a whole".
His resignation will be finalised within the first two weeks of February.

According to Msimanga, Electronic Toll Collection's contract to manage e-tolls has already been extended, and will run until December 2019. This, he says, contradicts the written reply by the minister of transport in September 2016 that the contract would expire on 31 December 2018.

Msimanga claims all of this was done without the public's knowledge or any consultation.

"We have always been very vocal about the fact that this tolling system was an unjust taxation on the people of Gauteng who are already at their financial breaking point," he notes.

Despite resistance from the public, Sanral moved ahead with plans to introduce e-tolling on the Gauteng freeway system on 3 December 2013.

Some leaders within the ANC have proclaimed to be against e-tolls. ANC Gauteng provincial chairperson and premier David Makhura previously said e-tolls were "not a part of the future of the province".

Last November, Cosatu and the Gauteng ANC led a "People's March" to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, encouraging citizens to push back against the plan to resuscitate e-tolls.

E-tolls opponent, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse, also called on its supporters and the general public to participate in the march against e-tolls to send a strong message to government that the "e-toll scheme needs to be discontinued once and for all".

However, during the 2018 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, finance minister Tito Mboweni said that if South Africans want the road transport infrastructure to work "we need to pay for our tolls".

Transport minister Blade Nzimande has also insisted "e-tolls are here to stay".

Nzimande reportedly told the National Assembly, last year, that government had not made a decision to scrap e-tolls in Gauteng.

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