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Thulane Che Trosky
 
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Government must now scrap E-tolls.

03 July 2014, 07:17

The decision of the Gauteng legislature to re-evaluate the E-toll system of Gauteng freeways is witness to pragmatism. The implementation of e-tolls in Gauteng, was to put it mildly – a momentous disaster.
Thousands of people did not buy e-tags, and are also now staging a silent protest by just not paying those e-toll accounts.
The implementation of e-tolls infuriated the public, as communication from the inset was absent, management lacking and absolutely no interaction with motorist on the matter during the planning stages.
David Makhura, Gauteng’s’ new Premier, announced last week that a Commission of Enquiry would soon be appointed to investigate the whole e-toll saga.His announcement must be welcomed, as it is the first time that someone directly involved with government, is prepared to listen and negotiate on grievances that is so evident in the matter.
The decision to do this was made easier for Makhura in that the e-tolls cost the ANC support in the province, and hurt it radically in its support base overall – and the unwillingness of motorist not to pay their e-toll accounts also contributing to him announcing such a commission.
Makhura said that a panel would be appointed in the next 100- 200 days to negotiate with society on various aspects, with the panel looking for suggestions to bring about a lasting solution.
It is good to hear Makhura saying: ‘We can’t close our eyes for the cries from society that are heavily affected by the e-tolls in their transport needs!’The investigation must however not be an effort to satisfy or pacify the public; it must be an honest and open investigation into e-tolling.
Makhura and SANRAL that manages the e-toll system, have to make peace with the fact that the present manner of how it is being managed is not acceptable to the public.
It is not too late to scrap the existing system, and to introduce a new form of payment that would be acceptable to the public and one can rest assure that Makhura would not have made such a categorical statement without having consulted on national level about the matter before making the announcement
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