Following reports that the African National Congress (ANC) is looking to scrap e-tolls in Gauteng, the party has now confirmed that it is actively taking steps at reviewing the controversial system.
This is according to newly elected deputy chairperson of the ANC in Gauteng, Panyaza Lesufi, who was speaking to Talk Radio 702’s Karima Brown on Monday (23 July).
Lesufi said that the people of Gauteng are still opposed to e-tolls, and that many have advised that the system is in need of a complete overhaul.
He said that following recent conference talks, the Gauteng ANC planned to publish a formal stance on the termination of e-tolls sometime in August 2018.
“On the basis of this advice we felt that we should allow this debate to die forever,” he said.
“The conference has taken a very firm decision to ensure that e-tolls are terminated immediately. We just need to put a mechanism in place to realise this decision”.
However, Lesufi avoided the question of how Gauteng’s roads will be funded and maintained going forward, instead stating that the province first needs to ‘let go’ of the current system.
“The reality is these e-tolls are unpopular with our people and as a popular movement, how do we go the opposite direction of that particular feeling,” he said.
“We have taken a decision, let those e-tolls be terminated and let the team that will manage this process engage on those modalities to check the costs, the running and all other related matters.”
Alternative uses for gantries?
Lesufi noted that a series of discussions had also surrounded the logistics of scrapping the system – notably what would happen to the gantries left standing following the scrapping of e-tolls.
Some of the proposals include the continued use of gantries to help fight crime, as well as a monitoring system to help measure the flow of traffic in the province.
“The majority of crime activities in our province involve a motor vehicle – either it is hijacked or stolen and used in a separate crime,” he said.
“The argument is instead of using a ‘stone-age’, we should engrave the number plates so that gantries can read them, and if the car is stolen it can be tracked.”