Fuel levy to replace Gauteng's e-tolls? Forget it, say other provinces

2014-09-21 07:00

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Gauteng’s e-tolls will not be replaced with a fuel levy after the country’s other eight provinces overwhelmingly rejected this idea, saying they will not be made to pay for excellent roads when theirs are in a bad state.

The provinces also rejected a proposal that the national government should take over the funding of improvements to Gauteng highways.

In terms of this proposal, instead of the current user-pay principle, the money that the Treasury ring-fences for the improvement of all national roads would be used to help settle the massive R20?billion debt incurred as a result of the upgrading of Gauteng’s highways.

The issue of e-tolls came up at a meeting between the national minister of transport and all other transport MECs two weeks ago.

Those at the meeting said Gauteng transport MEC Ismail Vadi was given a tough time by his counterparts – especially those from poorer provinces – who argued that replacing e-tolls with a national fuel levy would amount to taxing citizens of their own provinces for roads they do not enjoy.

“We cannot be funders of the beautiful roads in Gauteng when our roads are dongas,” Free State transport MEC Butana Komphela said.

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