The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng expects the Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, to announce during his budget speech that e-Tolls are here to stay.
Minister Mboweni indicated in previous budget speeches that he supports the user-pay principle when it comes to e-Tolls. It is unlikely to be any different during this week’s budget speech.
This will come as a blow to Premier David Makhura who will be delivering his State of the Province speech this week. It is unlikely that he will contradict Mboweni and will in all probability be silent on e-tolls during his speech.
This is a difficult position for Makhura as he made an election promise that e-tolls will be scrapped.
However, he may not have anticipated the drain that failing state-owned enterprises have placed on the fiscus as well as the pending NHI, pushing the scrapping of e-Tolls to the back of the queue.
The DA calls on Premier Makhura to honour his election promise or be honest with the people of Gauteng about the real state of play regarding e-Tolls during his speech.
He can no longer string the people of Gauteng along kicking the announcement to a future date like he has done the past year.