ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe allegedly told Sanral and the transport department to snub the e-toll review panel set up by the Gauteng provincial government, as it would be waste of time, the City Press reported.
Quoting an insider to the process, the City Press reported that Mantashe told the groups that “the province cannot review national policy, so…it would be a waste of time to participate in this thing”.
However, Mantashe denied the claims and questioned how he could instruct an agency that does not report to him, but added that he believed the panel was too narrow and only focused on payments.
According to the City Press, ANC leaders are split over e-tolls – notably Mantashe and his deputy, Jessie Duarte, who reportedly gave the green light for the review panel in the first place.
Mantashe also denied this, calling it malicious gossip.
The ANC lost footing in Gauteng in the last elections, dropping from a 63% control in 2009, to 53% in 2014. The loss, in part, was reportedly attributed to the controversial e-tolling system.
The e-toll panel, set up by Gauteng premier David Makhura, has thus far heard presentations from many concerned oragnisations speaking about the wider impact of the controversial system.
Sanral however, said it would not present to the panel, as the matter had already been decided in relevant structures.
The agency said that all documents regarding the whole process around the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project are publicly available.
Most presentations have spoken out against the system, including those from JPSA, Outa, Fedusa, Busa, and Nactu.
The groups have been calling for a fuel levy to be implemented as an alternative funding mechanism.
Consulting Engineers SA (Cesa) spoke out in support of the system.
The panel is expected to present its findings to Makhura at the end of November.
The full story can be read in the 7 September edition of the City Press.