Transport Minister, Dipuo Peters says that only a “few” people are against the implementation of e-tolls in Gauteng, with the majority in favour of having “world class roads”.
Speaking on radio station, AM Live, Peters said that she expected implantation of the e-tolling project to commence within a month.
President Jacob Zuma recently signed into law the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill, which paves the way for the implementation of e-tolling.
When asked why government was moving ahead with a project that was unpopular with motorists, the minister said: “I don’t know whether we can say it is unpopular with motorists, because people of South Africa want good quality roads, they want to be able to get to their destinations in the shortest possible time, and that doesn’t come easy….”
“I would want to say that it is a few number of people who have spoken out and have gone to court, but the majority of citizens are law abiding citizens who want these world class roads.”
On the matter of having a fuel levy to pay for the roads, Minister Peters said it was unfair for people in Gauteng to expect people from around the country to pay for roads in Gauteng.
“So we are saying, it is important that the user, the one who uses that particular road…must be the one who pays for it,” she said.
“I would want to say that right now we have got more than 600,000 people who have registered in Gauteng….people always want to stand back and say let’s see what happens,” Peters said.
Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa), is currently awaiting the outcome of the Supreme Court of Appeal’s (SCA) ruling on its appeal against e-tolling.
Outa is a group of business associations and individuals, and was formed in March 2012 to challenge Sanral’s decision to implement e-tolling of Gauteng’s recently upgraded freeway network. It felt the decision was irrational, unreasonable, and illegal.
“[The] president has had the bill under revision since May 2013 and could have waited for the [Supreme Court of Appeal’s] ruling on the matter,” Ollis said.
“It must be viewed as nothing more than a clear message to the country that he does not care about the wishes of the people of Gauteng.”
Other political and non political groups also stand in opposition to the tolling system, including Cosatu, AfriForum, Savrala, Sasbo, the AA and even the ANC Youth League.