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Wednesday / 22 May 2024
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Government’s new plan for e-tolls

During the 2022 medium-term budget speech, finance minister Enoch Godongwana announced that the Gauteng provincial government and national government have collectively agreed to contribute 30% and 70%, respectively, to service the South African National Roads Agency’s (Sanral) debt and interest obligations, which includes the controversial e-toll scheme.

Following the completion of this, the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project which birthed e-tolls will be handed over in full to the Gauteng provincial government, MyBroadband reports, and the institution will then be responsible for deciding the future of the tolling scheme and covering all further costs and responsibilities associated with it.

In a media statement on the finance minister’s announcement, Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi said “this is an important victory as it brings great relief to the people of Gauteng who have had to bear the brunt of paying e-tolls for roads which serve a national purpose.”

“There will be further engagements with Sanral regarding the repurposing of the e-tolls infrastructure, which we believe can be of use in the crime-fighting strategy of the provincial government,” said the premier.

Strict funding conditions

In addition to the servicing of Sanral’s existing debt, minister Godongwana announced that the treasury is tabling a “Special Appropriation Bill” which will provide more funding to the roads agency in order to allow it to restore its long-term financial stability.

Sanral said it has been relying on grants to perform its operational responsibilities and that government assistance has become a prominent source of funding over the past three financial years.

However, Godongwana said that any future funding for Sanral or any other state-owned entities will now be subject to “strict pre-conditions” that must be met prior to the government’s signing off.

For Sanral to receive additional assistance, it must satisfy the condition of deciding on a solution for the future of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project and accompanying e-tolls.



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