On Thursday, acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshaveni, confirmed that no decision has been made to do away with the Gauteng e-tolls.
Ntshavheni said that while cabinet noted Gauteng Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo’s explanation of the SAfm interview in which he announced that a decision was made to scrap e-tolls, she can confirm that it is not the case but rather that Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has been meeting with a number of stakeholders on how to best deal with the matter.
A statement by the Transport Department on Thursday said about the SAfm interview: “We are of the view that the MEC has made it quite clear that what he (Mamabolo) articulated during the interview, is a provincial position of Gauteng, which is not a new matter at all. Our understanding is that this is the position which Gauteng is lobbying the national government to adopt on e-tolls, and we respect that.”
During Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula’s department budget vote in the National Council of Provinces, it was clear that the Gauteng Provincial government is not the only group lobbying for the scrapping of the e-tolls system.
DA MP Tim Brauteseth said the e-tolls were costing the government R1 billion a year to maintain.
EFF MP Brenda Tirhani Mathevhula said the message has been made clear by the people of Gauteng that they do not want e-tolls. She said there was no need for the government to wait while the people have clearly stated their desire to do away with e-tolls.
According to reports, Cosatu and other ANC partners are also in favour of the e-tolls be scrapped.