Makhura says position on e-tolls has not changed

Gautreng premier David Makhura says that his department’s position on e-tolls has not changed.

In delivering his State of The Province address at the University of Johannesburg in Soweto on Monday (1 July 2019), Makhura said that his intention remains to scrap the failed tolling system, almost six years after it was first implemented.

“One of the issues that remains on my radar screen is the final resolution of the e-toll matter. Our position has not changed. We remain determined to ensure that e-tolls are not part of the future of our province.

“We anxiously await the finalisation of details by 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,” Makhura said.

In June, transport minister, Fikile Mbalula, suggested that e-tolls could be done away with, in an interview with the SABC.

“The solution could be that the e-tolls go but if they go, how are we going to address the issues that we are faced with in terms of the debt? The strategic goal is to ensure that South Africans are part of the solution in the long term.”

“It is not an easy issue that we say scrap and that is it. The fact of the matter is that people are not paying and the debt is ever-growing,” Mbalula said.

The system has been rejected by Gauteng motorists, with compliance levels sitting between 25% and 30%.

Without high levels of compliance, the debt owed on the system has climbed to over R40 billion, while motorists owe in excess of R11 billion in unpaid bills.

In March, the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) said it would suspend the process of pursuing e-toll debt through the courts.

Read: Tolling company CEO’s plan to get e-tolls working again

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Makhura says position on e-tolls has not changed