The pronouncement by Transport Minister, Joe Maswanganyi, that the failed E-tolls scheme will be “reviewed” is a welcome change from his predecessor Minister Pieters, but a “review” is simply not good enough. The call that the ANC government should be making is for the user-pay scheme to be completely scrapped.
In this regard, the Democratic Alliance will fully support a move to do away with the impractical and unaffordable system that has negatively affected the cost of transporting goods and services, thus impacting the pockets of the people of Gauteng, especially the poor.
The DA had warned the ANC government that the system would not work; this is evident, given that less than 30% of invoices issued to road users over the last two years have been paid, and according to OUTA 74% of the money collected goes to the Austrian-owned ETC.
The DA warned the ANC government that the people of Gauteng did not want the E-tolls system, but in its arrogance it went ahead with the scheme, while rejecting our proposal for a 10c fuel levy, which would have long paid for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP).
The DA will continue to champion for an affordable system that does not overburden the residents of Gauteng. It is this kind of caring and responsive DA –led government that the people of Gauteng will vote for in 2019.