E-tolls are here to stay, Blade Nzimande insists
The transport minister says the government has not made a decision to scrap e-tolls in Gauteng, but Gauteng premier David Makhura has expressed the opposite view
The government had not made a decision to scrap e-tolls in Gauteng, transport minister Blade Nzimande insisted in the National Assembly on Wednesday.
That contradicted the view of Gauteng premier David Makhura that e-tolls needed to be scrapped, and that they had no future in the province as long as the ANC was in charge.
Finance minister Tito Mboweni said in his maiden medium-term budget policy statement that if people wanted a road transport infrastructure that worked‚ they needed to pay their tolls.
Nzimande said in his replies to questions to the economic cluster of ministers on Wednesday that he would talk to Makhura about the matter. He noted that the Gauteng freeway network was critical for mobility and many businesses derived benefit from using it.
Nzimande said President Cyril Ramaphosa had instructed him to talk to stakeholders in a bid to resolve the impasse of nonpayment of e-tolls, which threatened the finances of the South African National Road Agency and the continued maintenance of road infrastructure.
The question that had to be addressed was how the government was to fund its national road infrastructure. It has to repay the money that was borrowed to construct the freeway.