E-tolls review not a ‘useless exercise’ – IFP

2014-10-10 11:34

The Inkatha Freedom Party today expressed confidence in the Gauteng e-tolls advisory panel.

IFP Gauteng leader Bonginkosi Dlamini said he did not believe the panel would be a “useless exercise”.

He was presenting the party’s views on e-tolls to the panel at the Gauteng legislature.

The IFP strongly opposed the system, and believed e-tolls were irrational and planned without the best interests of the people “being put at heart”.

The system would also have a negative impact on the general cost of living. Taxis would be exempted but trucks delivering food would not be.

Business people would also refrain from operating in the province as the e-tolls would add to their expenses.

Dlamini said the issue of improving roads arose as the country prepared for the 2010 Fifa World Cup and at the time the public welcomed it.

“They were not told they would be required to pay for it,” he said.

The IFP had no issues with long-distance tolls collected through tollgates and paid for manually.

Their issue was with urban tolling.

“Urban tolling is unfair to daily users,” said Dlamini, adding that long-distance tolling was an irregular occurrence when, for example, people went on holiday.

Daily use of urban roads, however, was a necessity.

He called for a temporary halt to the system.

“Billing of people should be stopped while the system is being reviewed,” he said.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura established the panel on July 17 to assess the social and economic impact of e-tolls.

The review panel is intended to examine the economic and social impact of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project and the electronic tolling system set up to fund it.

The panel is expected to present its findings to Makhura at the end of November.

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