Pres­i­dent Ramaphosa will de­cide e-tolls' fate - Makhura

Sunday Observer - - NEWS - Bureau Po­lit­i­cal

JO­HAN­NES­BURG -

Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa will take the fi­nal de­ci­sion on the fu­ture of Gaut­eng’s de­spised e-tolling sys­tem.

Gaut­eng Pre­mier David Makhura an­nounced on Fri­day that the etolls had been re­ferred to Ramaphosa for a fi­nal de­ter­mi­na­tion on al­ter­na­tive op­tions of set­tling the debt in­curred to build the coun­try’s na­tional roads.

“I am con­fi­dent that a solution will be found. Once the debt is set­tled, we will be able to main­tain our roads with­out the e-toll sys­tem,” he said. The Or­gan­i­sa­tion Un­do­ing Tax Abuse, which has been fight­ing e-tolls since the gov­ern­ment an­nounced plans to roll out the sys­tem, said the coun­try is owed R67 bil­lion ac­cu­mu­lated by the SA Na­tional Roads Agency in build­ing the coun­try’s free­ways. Makhura tabled the last po­lit­i­cal re­port of his first term as pre­mier at the pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture. He at­trib­uted the im­prove­ment in qual­ity of life and gov­er­nance to the pro-poor fis­cal poli­cies and anti- poverty pro­grammes of his ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Ad­dress­ing ANC mem­bers af­ter tabling the re­port, Makhura, who is also the party’s chair­per­son in the prov­ince, en­cour­aged them to use it while cam­paign­ing for the May 2019 elec­tions. “It’s cam­paign time, it (the re­port) gives you in­for­ma­tion and the tools but we need to lo­calise it,” he said.

He added that the re­port de­scribed 25 years of ANC gov­er­nance in Gaut­eng. The ANC is likely to face a ma­jor chal­lenge in next year’s polls af­ter it lost the coun­try’s big­gest metropoli­tan mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the 2016 lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions.

The re­port fol­lows the re­lease of na­tional and pro­vin­cial au­dit re­sults by Au­di­tor-Gen­eral Kimi Mak­wetu.

Mak­wetu found that Gaut­eng was the sec­ond-best per­form­ing prov­ince af­ter the West­ern Cape, hav­ing achieved 52% clean au­dits in the 2017/18 fi­nan­cial year.

Fif­teen taxi pas­sen­gers were in­jured in a crash which left their taxi crum­pled and strad­dled along a con­crete bar­rier in Dur­ban North on Satur­day, Net­care911 said.

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