Tolls have to go ahead, says Zuma

2012-03-16 10:02
Port Elizabeth - President Jacob Zuma on Friday quashed any hopes that the planned Gauteng e-tolling system will dropped by government.

"The Gauteng economy cannot afford any impediment to the traffic flow, since such an impediment will stifle economic growth that leads to job creation," Zuma told The New Age and SABC business briefing in Port Elizabeth.

Because of increased traffic flow the roads in general were unable to cope and this had affected road users and economic development.

He said the tolling of Gauteng's roads was an issue that had been consulted on and accepted by Cabinet.

"The rationale behind the freeways improvement project is that Gauteng, which generates nearly 38% of the total value of South Africa's economic activities, has developed beyond its infrastructural capabilities.

"The open tolling system will assist government to obtain revenue that will be utilised in order to improve the road infrastructure, service debt already incurred for the upgraded freeway network in Gauteng and ensure a well-maintained and upgraded road network into the future."

He said it was understood that for people affected by serious poverty and unemployment it was an additional financial burden, however, the infrastructure development would also create jobs which would help to eradicate the burden.

"But we plead for your understanding because at the end of the day, we have to develop and strengthen the road infrastructure of Gauteng," said Zuma.

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