'Alarmist': Mbalula shuts down speculation that e-tolls will be funded by fuel levy hike

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
OUTA speculated that the government could raise the fuel levy by 25 cents to 30 cents a litre to cover e-tolls.
OUTA speculated that the government could raise the fuel levy by 25 cents to 30 cents a litre to cover e-tolls.
Photo: Alfonso Nqunjana/News24
  • Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has hit back at the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse for raising concern that the fuel levy might be increased to fund the e-tolls system in Gauteng.
  • Mbalula previously said that the e-tolls issue will be raised in the medium-term budget in October.
  • OUTA is speculating that expected fuel price cuts in September could be used as an excuse to increase the fuel levy.
  • Get the biggest business stories emailed to you every weekday, or go to the Fin24 front page.

Transport Fikile Mbalula has shut down speculation about a possible raise in the fuel levy to fund e-tolls in Gauteng as "alarmist" and "rumour-mongering". 

He was reacting to a statement by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa), which expressed concern that Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana may use expected fuel price cuts in September as an excuse to increase the fuel levy. OUTA claims this will allegedly be done to cover the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, which the e-toll system has failed to do.

OUTA speculated that the government could raise the fuel levy by 25 cents to 30 cents a litre to cover e-tolls. The price of 95 unleaded petrol could be lowered by around R2.60 a litre in the first week of September thanks to a sharp slump in oil prices, while the rand has gained ground.

"It must be made categorically clear that government has not made any pronouncement on the funding of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project. We, therefore, appeal to all stakeholders to desist from rumour mongering that is intended to create anxiety among motorists," Mbalula said on Wednesday. 

"I have engaged with the AA and OUTA to discuss matters of mutual interest and I remain committed to constructive dialogue that assists in resolving challenges."

Mbalula has been promising an announcement on e-tolls since he took office in May 2019 with several deadlines come and gone. In June, Mbalula said that a solution would be announced by the medium-term budget policy statement in October, this time "for sure".

In reaction to Mbalula's latest statement, OUTA CEO Wayne Duvenage told Fin24 its view remains that the fuel levy has been mentioned in the past as a possible option to resolve the e-tolls issue.

"The best time [for government] to raise the fuel levy - judging by past behaviour - is to take advantage of a drop in the petrol price. We hope this will not happen, but [feel we] are right to raise our concerns," said Duvenage.

"These short-decisions may provide government with quick-fix short-term tax gains, but they have a detrimental impact on the country over the long term. Government should instead be looking at introducing greater efficiency into managing the country's affairs, as opposed to seeking ways to lean more heavily on its taxpayers."


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
17.84
+1.3%
Rand - Pound
20.17
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
17.51
+1.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.63
-0.5%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+1.3%
Gold
1,698.00
+2.2%
Silver
20.67
+8.6%
Palladium
2,232.24
+3.0%
Platinum
904.79
+4.7%
Brent Crude
85.14
-2.4%
Top 40
57,850
+0.8%
All Share
64,227
+0.8%
Resource 10
61,646
+2.3%
Industrial 25
77,524
+0.2%
Financial 15
13,816
+0.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE
Government tenders

Find public sector tender opportunities in South Africa here.

Government tenders
This portal provides access to information on all tenders made by all public sector organisations in all spheres of government.
Browse tenders