The DA called for the cancellation of the e-tolls project in the Gauteng provincial legislature on Tuesday.
“Although there will be some penalties for cancellation, [Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan] has already decreased the debt by R5.75 billion, to R14.75 billion,” said Democratic Alliance MPL Neil Campbell during a debate on the department of roads and transport budget.
He said there were three simple steps to solve the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project funding problem.
“Firstly, the national fuel levy must be ring-fenced, which will ensure that a true ‘user pays’ principle applies.”
A safe and reliable alternative for public transport must also be provided. And the fuel levy would need to be increased by not more than 11 cents per litre.
“It can be collected by the five oil refiners, which will decrease the cost of collection from the estimated R13 billion to almost zero.”
This would fulfil the government’s requirement of the “user pays” principle, and would save billions of rands on an extremely expensive toll collection system, Campbell said.
“The dogged determination of Cabinet to stick to an overpriced, unaffordable and hugely unpopular toll collection system reeks of arrogance of the grandest order.”
On April 28, the High Court in Pretoria handed down an order preventing Sanral from levying or collecting e-tolls pending the outcome of a judicial review.
Gordhan then approached the Constitutional Court in a bid to set aside the court order halting e-tolling.