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Accountability Eludes as E-Toll Scrapping Remains Unresolved



e-toll gantries

The national and provincial governments of Gauteng have retracted their initial plans to remove the e-toll gantries. Premier Panyaza Lesufi attributes influential Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana during the October 2022 MTBPS as the response to his previous commitments. Godongwana’s announcement seemed to signal a conclusion of the e-tolls, resolving to address GFIP debt through an alternative financing mechanism, which did not have e-tolls as its source. Despite the initial excitement by long-suffering commuters, a promise by Lesufi to refund e-toll payers with R 6.9 billion, and the MTBPS, having the e-toll system still standing is the painful reality. Since its launch in December 2013 and since its announcement in September 2010, the scheme has been a source of discontent for civil society organisations and motorists who have opposed it right from the start, according to IOL.

Also read: Gauteng Government Seeks Loan to Cover R12 Billion for E-Toll Scrapping, Says Lesufi

Among the complaints is the view that there has been insufficient public consultation and the costs are too high. On the 28th of February, Lesufi announced that the e-tolls would be deactivated by the 31st of March and revealed the details of the plan for how the Gauteng government would pay a part of Sanral’s e-toll debt of R12 billion. Nevertheless, Solly Msimanga, the DA Gauteng premier candidate, has called on Lesufi to have a clear timetable for dismantling the gantries and stressed that the gazetting should be 14 days in advance, according to law. Msimanga’s fears reflect the possibility of e-tolls sticking around after past remarks about them being abolished.

Also read:

Finance Minister Says E-Toll Delinking Process Far from Completion


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