GP residents mustn’t be burdened with paying for e-tolls, says MEC
Despite finance minister Tito Mboweni advocating for the “user-must-pay” principle in regards to state infrastructure, Gauteng’s government remains firm in its opposition to motorists paying to use provincial roads.
Gauteng public transport and roads infrastructure MEC Jacob Mamabolo reiterated the provincial government’s long-standing position against the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP), popularly known e-tolls.
Despite public resistance, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) moved ahead with plans to introduce e-tolling on the Gauteng freeway system on 3 December 2013.
The Electronic Toll Collection company, which has been contracted to collect e-toll payments on behalf of Sanral, has had a tough task during this time, due to ongoing resistance from motorists.
The provincial ANC government and national government also still do not see eye-to-eye on the controversial tolling system.
Mamabolo reaffirmed the Gauteng government’s position against the e-tolls system.
“We have made a very comprehensive submission to the president, the minister of finance and that of transport, which we believe can resolve the e-tolls matter once and for all. We have made a compelling case clearly stating it is not correct for residents of our province to be burdened with paying for e-tolls,” he says.
According to the MEC, provincial government has been working with national government to ensure the implementation of e-tolls in Gauteng is halted.
In addition, Mamabolo indicated he wrote to transport minister Fikile Mbalula in November, outlining the provincial government’s rejection of the implementation of proposed Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (AARTO) regulations as another method of enforcing the tolling system.
The AARTO system includes the licence points demerit system. “We reject the proposed AARTO regulations, which are another attempt to bring back the e-tolls system in our province. We are of the strongest view that the freeway network that is being tolled services the national economy and the Southern African Development Community as well as the international economy.
“It is therefore not fair to expect the people of our province to carry the burden,” Mamabolo concluded.