President Cyril Ramaphosa has weighed in on Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and Gauteng Premier David Makhura's disagreements over e-tolls, instructing the ministers to work together to find a solution.
The Presidency on Saturday issued a statement indicating that Ramaphosa had mandated Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, Mboweni and Makhura to submit to Cabinet a solution for the e-toll system in Gauteng. The ministers are expected to table the proposals to Cabinet by the end of August 2019.
Earlier this week in his State of the Province Address, Premier Makhura reiterated that e-tolls would be scrapped. However, Mboweni slammed Gauteng leadership's position on Friday when he tweeted that users of the e-toll system must pay. "I don’t know why the middle and upper classes in Gauteng want to complicate our lives. The working class do not pay e-tolls!! Public transport! Hello…" Mboweni tweeted.
Mboweni also warned Makhura not to "pick a fight" with the finance minister who is in charge of provincial allocations. "I am certain that the Premier of Gauteng knows that you have to be careful before you pick up a fight with a National Minister of Finance. The one who controls allocations! I would be careful if I were him," he tweeted.
Makhura also took to Twitter to say that he had asked Ramaphosa to
determine a "final resolution" for the e-tolls, adding that Mboweni
is just a minister and not the president.
However, the Presidency has said the exchanges by the ministers on social media is "unfortunate and regrettable".
"The President says such exchanges on social media are unbecoming of their high offices and fail to provide the leadership required in this instance.
"The public interest is best served through collaboration, not conflict, and the appropriate platform for leaders to express and reconcile differing views is Cabinet and other coordination forums," the statement read.
The Presidency acknowledged that the user-pay principle is a
government policy, but that the current e-toll system has challenges.
"The President expects that the consultations within government over the coming weeks will produce workable outcomes," the Presidency said.