Gauteng motorists and consumers are still burdened by the unwanted e-Tolls system that increases the cost of doing business in Gauteng as well as that of consumer goods. Considering the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and government lockdowns, Gauteng residents need all the help they can get to get by and survive. Scrapping e-Tolls will be a step in the right direction.
The Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, has strung along motorists and consumers in the province since February this year, promising imminent announcements on the future of e-Tolls no less than four times. The last time he made this promise was in May.
It is almost two months since his last deadline of making an announcement and not a peep has been heard from the Minister. Each time he points a finger to Cabinet who needs to make the final decision.
It is clear that Mbalula cannot get an agreement from Cabinet and that he is clearly at loggerheads with his colleagues who seem to be concerned about the cost of scrapping the system.
Mbalula can no longer evade responsibility on e-Tolls and his delaying tactics is causing more suspicion about the government’s intentions to scrap the system. The ANC government is clearly playing for time as the announcement may make things uncomfortable for them on 27 October when the local government elections are scheduled to take place. They clearly do not want to make their decision known before then.
The DA has been at the forefront opposing the e-toll system in Gauteng and we will continue with our campaign to pressurize Mbalula and Cabinet for a decision. I will be working with my colleagues in Parliament to call the government to account on e-Tolls so that we can get a resolution on the matter once and for all.
Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status.