Colleagues, today we are here outside the office of Gauteng Premier David Makhura, calling on him to remember his promise to the people of this province, and to call for a provincial referendum on e-tolls.
On 30 September 2014, when asked about the review panel’s work whether the premier would scrap e-tolls, the premier told the Gauteng Legislature “If needs be, I am prepared to stick with the people of Gauteng”
Unfortunately the premier did not stick to his promise.
In the run-up to his State of the Province Address (SOPA), the premier’s office invited Gauteng’s people to send their ideas and suggestions to an email address especially created for that purpose.
The DA encouraged the public to use this opportunity to ask the premier for a referendum, and to copy their email to us. The response was overwhelming, and within a week, we received thousands of requests for a referendum.
Yet, despite this, and so many other calls to scrap e-tolls, the premier and the ANC insist that e-tolls stay, but promise to bring people relief with a complicated hybrid funding model.
The fact is, this hybrid model is a thin disguise to force motorists to pay in one way or another:
- The model looks to collect funds from a number of sources, such as the fuel levy, vehicle licensing fees, and e-tolls. It will increase administration costs and opens the door for corruption;
- Extra taxes and levies on tyres and vehicle licences will push up the cost of transport, goods and services – harming the poor;
- Increased costs will slow down economic growth, harming job creation;
- A reduced monthly cap on e-tolls, will not necessarily improve compliance, increasing the administrative burden; and
- Motorists will be criminally charged and prosecuted for non-payment
And now, after all these promises, we still have to pay e-tolls while the premier and the intergovernmental team are yet to complete their work on how to ramp up enforcement and increase their options on how to make us pay.
It is obvious that that the premier is stalling and that he has abandoned the people of Gauteng. He made this quite clear in his response to the SOPA debate, when he said: “The ANC does not govern by referendum”.
And with those words the premier trampled on our democratic principles, because there is no purer form of democracy than a referendum, as it accurately gauges public sentiment on a specific issue.
Premier Makhura and the ANC cannot continue to ignore the pleas of Gauteng’s people. There must be a referendum on the future of e-tolls.
I thank you
John Moodey MPL
DA Gauteng Provincial Leader
082 960 3743