ANC: Opposition trying to be radical

2015-02-26 15:46


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Johannesburg - The ANC in the Gauteng legislature on Thursday called on opposition parties to stop trying to "sound radical" by calling for e-tolls to be scrapped.

"The ANC resolved that in its current form we don't want e-tolls," African National Congress MPL Jacob Khawe said during debate on Premier David Makhura's state of the province speech in Johannesburg.

"We are leading this... so their best option is to sound radical [by calling for scrapping it]."

Makhura announced in his speech on Monday that the province was working with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on the e-toll matter.

"Instead of waiting for the final report you choose to label him," Khawe told the opposition.

Earlier, the Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters, and Freedom Front Plus criticised Makhura for not announcing the scrapping of e-tolls.

Major financial relief

During his address, Makhura announced "major financial relief" to motorists using the province's tolled roads.

"The provincial government is part of the current consultation process... to develop a better dispensation which will mitigate the negative impact of the e-tolls on the people of Gauteng, especially the middle and lower income groups.

"I am confident that the new dispensation should provide major financial relief to motorists, while simplifying the payment system to make it easy for road users to pay," he said.

Makhura said the final decision on the new dispensation would be made once the work of the intergovernmental team was completed, after receiving a report from the e-toll review panel.

DA MPL John Moodey said e-tolls had been a thorn in Makhura's side since he took office last year.

"The people of this province have on numerous occasions and on numerous platforms said that e-tolls must go, yet the premier and the ANC refused to recommend they be scrapped," he said during the debate.

"Only one solution remains, and that is for the premier to announce a provincial referendum on the future of e-tolls."

Golden opportunity missed - EFF

Moodey criticised Makhura for delivering a state of the province address which had no clear implementation timelines or deadlines.

EFF MPL Mandisa Mashego said Makhura had painted a "suspiciously rosy picture" which was full of plans but no action.

She said the premier had missed a golden opportunity by not announcing that e-tolls would be scrapped.

FF Plus MPL Philip van Staden said his party hoped Makhura would scrap the system.

He said the premier's announcement that it would be made more cost effective was not what people wanted to hear.

"Gautengers don't want e-tolls and they also don't want to pay for e-tolls," Van Staden said.

Moodey said Gauteng residents did not want a hybrid toll collection system.

"In the review panel's final report it became abundantly clear that e-tolls were forced onto the citizens of Gauteng with limited consultation."

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  eff  |  david makhura  |  politics

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