Government still conflicted on e-tolls

By Doug Mattushek - 05 July 2019Views : 190

The South African government still can’t get it’s message straight when it comes to Gauteng’s e-toll debacle.

In March, the South African National Roads Agency revealed that the process of collecting e-toll debt is indefinitely suspended.

On Monday, Gauteng Premier David Makhura reiterated this in his state of the province address, saying: "Our position has not changed...we remain determined that e-tolls are not part of the future of our province."

However, finance minister Tito Mboweni took to Twitter, imploring that the "user must pay”.

"So, when you invest in a toll road infrastructure, you expect a return for many years ahead as per contract,” wrote Mboweni.

"Right? Not the cost of your investment today. Future returns. That is what you do in business. Premier Makhura, correct? Or am I missing something here? Now Therefore, THE USER MUST PAY! Premier Makhura!"

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula then chimed in on the social media platform, saying that the matter should be discussed with President Cyril Ramaphosa.

"Minister shouldn't we discuss this matter as directed by the President first?" tweeted Mbalula.

"And thereafter after engagement with all stakeholders we can then present a collective view to society? You debating here on twitter will further poor water to an already polarized debate."