Decision on how to pay for e-tolls must be fair to all concerned, says premier
GAUTENG Premier David Makhura has insisted that his government is determined to revise the payment system for the controversial e-tolls.
He would do this if the outcome of the review process was opposed to its implementation in the current form.
“Everybody has been making their submissions (and) I
How do we do this so it doesn’t punish
haven’t seen anyone who says people mustn’t pay. But how do we do it in a way that doesn’t punish our economy? How do we do it without negatively impacting on the aspect of doing business and living (in Gauteng) or drive investors out of the province?”
Makhura, who instituted the review panel to assess the socioeconomic impact of e-tolls, was speaking to The Star after an executive committee meeting media briefing yesterday.
His decision to subject e-tolls to an assessment process has put his administration at odds with the national ANC and government, especially the national Department of Transport and its agency, the South African National Roads Agency Limited.
Sanral told the e-tolls review panel in Pretoria last week that investor confidence in it had been negatively affected by the uncertainty created by the Gauteng government’s decision to set up the e-toll assessment panel.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe told The Star last month that Gauteng “must own up to the e-tolls” because it was a provincial initiative.
Makhura said he was not interested in who initiated the system, but in the outcome of the review process.
“I am not interested in that debate. I am interested in the fundamental issue, which is how do we address the issue?
“The critical issue is that the people of the province have raised concerns, and their concerns have to be addressed by the government. We have to consider the interests of the working class and middle class (that) we don’t want to punish.”
The ANC in Gauteng rejected the payment of e-tolls at its provincial conference last month. The provincial leadership endorsed a fuel levy as an alternative – but this has been shot down by the national Department of Transport and Sanral.
Asked about this, Makhura said he was flexible on the submissions made to the review panel. “The panel will entertain various issues. I am not married to anything, so long as we address the key concerns. It (e-tolls) is very costly and burdensome.”
The premier said the review panel had started writing its report, following the conclusion of the presentations.
The panel will submit its report to Makhura, who will then table it before the executive council for consideration and a decision.
FLEXIBLE: Premier David Makhura at media briefing to report back on the review process of the Gauteng e-tolling system.