Only DA is committed scrapping e-tolls

December 5, 2018

The following remarks were delivered today by the DA Gauteng Premier Candidate, Solly Msimanga, at a DA march against e-tolls in Johannesburg. Msimanga was joined by his Team 1 Gauteng members which includes Johannesburg ExecutiveMayor, Herman Mashaba, Midvaal Executive Mayor, Bongani Baloyi and the DA Gauteng Provincial Leader, John Moodey.

Good people of Gauteng,

Over the last few months, I have engaged with thousands of South Africans, and they say the same critical things to me: Bra Solly, Gauteng needs real change and a new government; we need an economy that opens fair access to real, long-term jobs; and e-tolls must go because we cannot afford them nor did we ask for them.

Since the blue lights went up across the Province, we warned the failing ANC government that our people could not afford them. Like we did then, today we are marching. The confused and failing ANC believe that just because you own a car, you can afford e-tolls, but this is not true.

Not only are e-tolls another expensive tax, they affect the economy because it adds to the cost of doing business. I have heard stories and had people writing to the DA tell us that they must choose between employing more people or paying e-tolls. But Premier David Makhura and the ANC do not care.

We do not need to tolerate this anymore, there is solution to ending the economic oppression of the ANC: vote for change in 2019! Vote for the DA!

In a few short months, we will have a crucial choice to make.

Do we continue down the same failed road of the ANC, or do we venture on a new path and elect a government that will usher in real change that the 14 million residents of Gauteng deserve.

As the captain of the Gauteng ship, Gauteng Premier David Makhura has allowed the province to drift into choppy waters while taking his hands off the wheel.

His show boating has done little to arrest the uncontrollable rate of crime that is plaguing the province.

His talk-shops have not materially impacted the growing rate of unemployment, particularly amongst the youth who have become despondent and are turning to substance abuse as a means of escape.

A man of many promises, so few of which have been kept, Premier Makhura has left an uninspiring legacy which has amounted to very little change of fortune for Gauteng’s 14 million residents.

Since 2014, he has time and time again insisted – when it is strategically convenient, that e-Tolls must go. He has marched, he established a commission – he has said a great many things, but the most important thing that he has not said is to both the Ministers of Transport and Finance – “do not renew the collection contract when it comes to an end”.

It is now five years since this contemptuous tolling system was foisted upon us. Five long years of indecisiveness by the ANC.

Gauteng ANC deputy-chairperson, Panyaza Lesufi has made the utterance that in 6 months’ time the current funding model of e-Tolls will be scrapped and replaced with something else?

Why 6 months? Because in 6 months’ time the elections will have come and gone and the ANC will have once again played on the pockets of motorists to swing the vote in their favour.

I can, with certainty, predict that nothing will change. Change will only happen when you, the good people of Gauteng, choose real change led by the Democratic Alliance!

The ANC will not do the right thing. It is incapable of doing the right thing.

If they were seriously on the side of the people, they would have not allowed this unjust system to continue to operate for five years.

They would have acted when SANRAL started to issue threats of legal action against road-users.

In the face of this, they remained silent.

And they will continue to remain silent on the hard issues that confront the people of this province daily.

Just as how they have lacked the conviction to speak up and act against uncaring and corrupt Mayors and officials that have run the municipalities of Emfuleni, Merafong and West Rand District into the ground. These municipalities stand testament to failing ANC governance.

Instead of taking action, the Premier shields those who have meted out cruelty to our people.

One need look no further than the murderous former Health MEC, Qedani Mahlangu – the architect of the Esidimeni tragedy, purportedly corrupt Brian Hlongwa who bankrupted the Gauteng Health Department and the deviant former Mayor of Emfuleni, Simon “sex-pest” Mofokeng.

These individuals remain members of the party’s provincial decision-making body that will impact policy choices of a failing ANC government.

As you can see, delinquency is rewarded in the ranks of the failing ANC.

As at the end of the 2017/18 financial year Premier Makhura presided over 124 000 more job losses compared to the end of the previous financial year. At the end of the financial year, Gauteng suffered the most job losses in South Africa.

We suffer from a serious backlog in the need for housing, healthcare and schools.

We need a better, professionalised police force that will make use of intelligence to bring down the exacerbating rate of crime in this province.

We need fewer talk shops and more action.

If the failing ANC was serious about ensuring that its citizens have access to adequate water supplies then they should have consistently maintained their water infrastructure.

Under the ANC’s watch, they have allowed sewage from the Emfuleni Local Municipality to flow into the Vaal River despite being warned that it will have a huge impact on water supply in Gauteng.

This raw sewage is causing severe water pollution. The drinking water is now being used to flush pollution out of the Vaal River system and, as a result, we are left with a water shortage and an impending water crisis in this province.

This province deserves a government that possesses the political will – the will of the people, to steer us on the right track.

The fight for Gauteng is not just about e-tolls. The 2019 Agenda for Change starts with you – it is time that the people come first.

We will put the people first by ensuring e-tolls are scrapped. But we also committed to hitting the ground running by focusing on five key areas:

  • We will keep our people safe and remove drugs from our communities by creating an honest, professional, well-resourced and well-trained police service;
  • The DA will fix Home Affairs and secure our borders, so that asylum-seekers are treated with dignity and we can legally attract the scarce skills that the economy needs;
  • The DA open fair access to real, long-term jobs so that food can be put on the table;
  • We will speed the delivery and maintenance of quality services; and
  • The DA will stop corruption so that the people’s money is invested in our communities

In 2019, we have the power to usher in change. The kind of change that will bring forth the real potential of Gauteng. Change that will instil hope and pride in our people. Change that will bring forth a people-centred government.

I ask all of you to be a part of change that builds One South Africa for All!

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