The DA has called the announcement of the Gauteng Provincial Government review of the e-tolls system, “nothing more than a public relations stunt”.
Gauteng premier, David Makhura, announced a 10-member e-tolls review panel to focus on the impact of system on the economy.
The work of the advisory panel on socio-economic impact of e-tolls will be submitted by 30 November, 2014.
The premier said that the panel will also seek public proposals and submissions to incorporate into its findings.
“The e-tolls system is governed by national legislation, therefore the only body that is empowered to legitimately review the system and make pronouncements on its future, is Parliament, through the Portfolio Committee on Transport,” said Mmusi Maimane MP, parliamentary leader of the DA.
The DA said it was unclear why Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has remained silent on this matter.
It called for the Minister to show leadership, and support the need for the review of e-tolls to take place in Parliament.
“The terms of reference for the Gauteng e-tolls Review Panel announced by Premier Makhura today clearly indicate that the panel is not empowered to take any actions against e-tolls,” Maimane said.
“The people of South Africa need to see action on e-tolls, not a “talk-shop” in Gauteng that has no legal powers. The cost of this Review Panel will take public funds away from other critical needs, yet it can make no meaningful changes to the e-tolls scheme,” he said.
The DA said it is in the process of drafting a Private Members Bill that will ensure that South Africa’s roads infrastructure is better funded and e-tolls are stopped in their tracks.