E-tolls are here to stay: Mboweni

Finance minister Tito Mboweni has indicated that the controversial e-toll system is here to stay.

Speaking in his medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS), Mboweni said that after considering a number of issues it was decided that government would remain committed to a ‘user-pay’ model.

However, he said that there will be a further dispensation and value-added services under the new system and that compliance will also be strengthened.

The MTBPS shows that since 2014/15, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Saral ) has incurred annual average losses of R1 billion.

“The agency is not generating sufficient cash from its toll portfolio to settle operational costs and debt redemptions falling due over the next three years,” it states.

Government has extended a total guarantee facility of R38.9 billion to the agency, of which R30.3 billion had been used by 31 March 2019.

Over the medium term, Sanral is expected to repay R10.7 billion of maturing debt obligations and R10.8 billion worth of interest payments.

“To enable Sanral to pay these obligations, government will implement direct user charges as outlined in the White Paper on National Transport Policy.”

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E-tolls are here to stay: Mboweni