Premier to release e-tolls report

E-toll customer service centre.
E-toll customer service centre.

JOBURG – Gauteng’s premier office deputy director general Thabo Masebe confirmed that Premier David Makhura will release the much-anticipated e-toll review panel’s findings on 14 January.

A few months after Makhura came to office in July last year, he appointed the panel to examine the economic and social impact of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project and the e-tolling system that was set up to fund it.

Masebe said the executive council will meet on 14 January, after which it will release the report. However, Democratic Alliance Gauteng provincial leader John Moodey said his party noted media reports that Makhura will release the much-anticipated e-toll review panel’s findings on 15 January. “Unfortunately, if these and other leaked media reports over the panel’s findings during the past month are accurate, there will be no victory fires burning across Gauteng come tomorrow,” said Moodey.

One radio station last week announced that the e-toll panel report would recommend that e-tags become compulsory, suggesting that cars be fitted with e-tags before leaving dealerships. The station asserted to have seen part of the e-toll review report and alleged that there could be a possible reduction in the maximum cap on e-tolling. Moodey said instead of being relieved of the financial burden of e-tolls, motorists will still be forced to pay for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project through other means, such as exorbitant increases on motor vehicle licence fees and other ‘stealth taxes’.

He added that his party will make no pronouncements until they have studied the report. “It is seemingly inevitable that the people shall pay the R30 billion debt of the project, despite the devastating effects on the provincial economy and job creation and the 30 September promise of Premier Makhura ‘to stick with the people of Gauteng,’ Moodey said. He stated that the people of Gauteng have spoken and have openly declared their refusal to pay e-tolls, and no ‘stealth’ methods of payment will convince them otherwise. Meanwhile, Masebe said that no information was leaked to the media as some media houses have claimed.

Aphiwe Boyce
Metro Reporter

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