ANC Gaut­eng joins war of the gantries

CityPress - - News - CAI­PHUS KGOSANA cai­phus.kgosana@city­press.co.za

Buoyed by their un­op­posed re-elec­tion, the ANC ex­ec­u­tive in Gaut­eng is hop­ing to take a res­o­lu­tion to Luthuli House and then to the party’s na­tional gen­eral coun­cil next year to call for a com­plete re­view of e-tolling.

The 1 500 ANC del­e­gates at the provin­cial con­fer­ence in Irene, south of Pre­to­ria, broke into com­mis­sions yes­ter­day, where the is­sue of e-tolling was ex­pected to top the agenda. The Gaut­eng gov­ern­ment has been at log­ger­heads with na­tional gov­ern­ment ever since its decision to set up a panel to re­view e-tolling.

Newly elected ANC provin­cial deputy chair and Premier David Makhura said the party was founded on the prin­ci­ple that it was one that lis­tens to the peo­ple. This, he said, was why ANC mem­bers were dis­cussing and would take a po­si­tion on e-tolls.

“The con­cern is, what will be the im­pact of e-tolls on our econ­omy? It’s the rea­son ANC mem­bers will be dis­cussing e-tolls. As gov­ern­ment, we op­er­ate on the same prin­ci­ple on is­sues af­fect­ing our com­mu­ni­ties. We have to re­spond,” Makhura said.

He said they would strongly en­gage Luthuli House on the mat­ter once del­e­gates had reached their con­clu­sions.

A mem­ber of Gaut­eng’s provin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee told City Press on the side­lines of the con­fer­ence that peo­ple have been call­ing on the ANC in Gaut­eng to re­spond to the is­sue of e-tolling and that they would now do so through a res­o­lu­tion, which he ex­pected to support their view that tolling needs to be re­viewed.

Such a res­o­lu­tion, said the provin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber, would be taken to Luthuli House along with all other res­o­lu­tions emerg­ing from the con­fer­ence as the ANC’s of­fi­cial po­si­tion on the mat­ter.

“Peo­ple have been say­ing we must act on e-tolls, we are. This will be the first time that a struc­ture of the ANC has adopted a res­o­lu­tion on e-tolls. That will be the of­fi­cial po­si­tion of the party from which we will en­gage on this mat­ter.”

The provin­cial ANC is also hop­ing to take the res­o­lu­tion on e-tolls to the na­tional gen­eral coun­cil next year.

Open­ing the con­fer­ence on Fri­day, provin­cial chair­per­son Paul Mashatile said as the ANC, they would not be dic­tated to by the SA Na­tional Roads Agency, and that the rec­om­men­da­tions by the re­view panel would be im­ple­mented.

Makhura in­sisted that as premier, he would take the fi­nal re­port of his re­view panel to na­tional gov­ern­ment and to the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties af­fected by e-tolls to ad­vise them of its rec­om­men­da­tions.

Trans­port Min­is­ter Dipuo Peters has re­fused to co­op­er­ate with the re­view panel, say­ing she did not ini­ti­ate it and that as a prov­ince, Gaut­eng had no power to re­view na­tional pol­icy.

Her spokesper­son, Tiyani Rikhotso, said the tolling of Gaut­eng free­ways to pay off the R20 bil­lion debt in­curred as a re­sult of up­grades was a decision un­der­taken by na­tional gov­ern­ment and could not be re­viewed by a panel set up by a prov­ince. TENA­CIOUS Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa (left) and ANC Gaut­eng chair­per­son Paul Mashatile (right) at the open­ing of the 12th ANC provin­cial con­fer­ence in Tsh­wane

Mean­while, the newly elected ex­ec­u­tive dis­missed crit­i­cism that their elec­tion on an un­con­tested slate had been pre­ar­ranged and that hav­ing Mashatile re­main as chair­per­son en­trenched two cen­tres of power in Gaut­eng.

When asked why he had de­clined nom­i­na­tion to stand as chair­per­son, Makhura said it would be fu­tile for him to stand be­cause the prov­ince was united be­hind the cur­rent lead­er­ship team.

“I have con­fi­dence in the lead­er­ship of Paul Mashatile as chair­per­son of the ANC. He has led this prov­ince well. I am the premier of the prov­ince, I lead gov­ern­ment. I didn’t feel it is nec­es­sary for me when I have a ca­pa­ble chair­per­son in his per­son to come to a con­fer­ence and contest. For what? To waste what time? What cru­cial is­sue is it about?” asked Makhura.

Other of­fi­cials in­clude Hope Papo as sec­re­tary, Gwen Ramok­gopa as deputy sec­re­tary and Ntombi Mekgwe as trea­surer.

Del­e­gates yes­ter­day elected 30 mem­bers of the provin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee.

PHOTO: MUNTU VI­LAKAZI

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