The final pronouncement on the funding model of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, better known as the e-tolls, is imminent, transport minister Fikile Mbalula said on Wednesday.
Mbalula said this when he tabled the department’s budget vote during a plenary of the National Assembly.
“We have been working closely with the minister of Finance to finalise outstanding matters that will enable the final determination by Cabinet on the funding of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, better known as e-tolls.
“We are alive to the adverse impact the delay in making the final decision on e-tolls has on the SANRAL [South African National Roads Agency] balance sheet and its ability to raise capital for its catalytic projects.
“This is a matter Cabinet has on its radar and a pronouncement will be made once the final decision has been taken,” he said.
SANRAL allocated R76.4 billion
Mbalula said, meanwhile, that the Road Transport programme facilitates activities related to the maintenance of the country’s national and provincial road network.
“An allocation of R76.4 billion goes to the South African National Roads Agency. Transfers to SANRAL account for 33.5 percent of the department’s budget over the medium term and 65.5 percent of the budget of the Road Transport programme,” he said.
Over the next three years, R45.3 billion or 59.3 percent of the allocation to SANRAL is budgeted to upgrade, strengthen and refurbish the national non‐toll roads network.
“An amount of R2.8 billion is allocated for the R573, better known as Moloto Road.
“A budget of R3.7 billion is allocated for the N2 Wild Coast project and R2.1 billion allocated to fund reduced tariffs for the Gauteng freeway improvement project,” he said.
Reducing road fatalities
Mbalula said, meanwhile, that efforts to reduce carnage on our roads by 25 percent in 2024 remain firmly on track.
“We have been making steady progress with the reduction of fatalities by 20.27 percent in 2019/20, 19.73 percent in 2020/21 and 20.02 percent in the first three quarters of the 2021/22 financial year. Although the reduction is largely attributed to reduced traffic volumes due to Covid-19 restrictions, the increased visibility of our officers on the roads played a significant part,” said the Minister.