'I can put my head on the block' - e-tolls matter will be finalised in new year, vows Mthembu

2019-12-17 20:26
(Photo: Trevor Kunene/Daily Sun)

(Photo: Trevor Kunene/Daily Sun)

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The Cabinet has kicked the matter of e-tolls into touch - it will only be dealt with next year.

"[The] Cabinet noted the report on the [Gauteng freeway improvement project] [e-tolls] of the task team led by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. A final decision on the recommendations of the task team as contained in the report will be made in the new year," Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu said on Tuesday as he briefed the media on the outcomes of Friday's Cabinet meeting.

"Definitely, [the] Cabinet will meet finality on this matter in the new year."

He said the issue was what mechanism should be used to pay for the upkeep of the Gauteng freeway improvement project.

Mthembu added by not rushing a decision, they could even think beyond Gauteng.

"It will definitely be finalised at the next Cabinet meeting. I can put my head on the block."

The ANC in Gauteng has been trying to get the national government to scrap the system, arguing that it would have a negative impact on the residents of the province. However, in his medium-term budget policy statement in October, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni was firm that the "user pays principle" - e-tolling - would stay.

Gauteng road users' unwillingness to pay the toll has led to financial problems for the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral).

The medium-term budget policy statement document showed that since 2014/15, Sanral had incurred annual average losses of R1bn, City Press previously reported.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  e-tolls  |  government spending
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