E-tolls must be scrapped – Final decision coming this month – TopAuto
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E-tolls must be scrapped – Final decision coming this month

A final decision on how e-tolls will be run in Gauteng is expected before the end of May.

This is according to a report by BusinessTech, which quoted Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula speaking at the National Council of Provinces.

Mbalula said a final decision on the future of e-tolls in Gauteng will be made this month, with final approval on the next steps to be decided on by cabinet.

“On the matter of the e-tolls, we are engaging with the Treasury and we are at the end of our processes. The decision is on the table and we expect that in the next two weeks we should be back to cabinet,” said Mbalula.

E-tolls in the province have been plagued by non-compliance from motorists since they were launched, with many refusing to pay and calling for the system to be scrapped.

Sanral’s financial report for the year ended 31 March 2019 showed it disregarded over R1.84 billion in outstanding e-toll fees as a result.

The scheme has been hurt by allegations of corruption since its inception, too.

Questions about the viability of e-tolls were also raised as far back as 2012, when economists probed the “financial sense” of launching the system in South Africa.

South Africa’s road agency Sanral has tried to counter this non-compliance by threatening to block the issuing of car licence discs to motorists who do not pay their e-toll bills.

Sanral also proposed blocking the sale of motor vehicles to individuals who have not paid their e-tolls.

Cancel the system

Trade federation Cosatu and the Automobile Association (AA) have echoed the calls from motorists for the e-tolls system to be scrapped.

“Anything other than the total cancellation of e-tolls will result in the prolongation of the ongoing dispute over e-tolls. The federation remains unwavering in its commitment to this ongoing boycott of e-tolls,” said Cosatu.

The AA stated that since it released its road-funding report in 2019, it has been clear that “Gauteng motorists have no intention of ever paying for tolls”.

“Nothing has changed, except that more allegations of corruption have been levelled against the system, which we believe only hardens people’s views not to pay,” said the AA.

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