The Gauteng Finance MEC, Jacob Mamabolo, has once again missed another deadline to announce exactly how Gauteng will be paying for its portion of the e-Toll debt. In the meantime, Gauteng motorists and businesses are still charged for using Gauteng freeways, which negatively impacts their livelihoods.
An announcement on the proposed financial model was meant to be made in mid-December last year, but to date, no information has been forthcoming. This would have happened after the MEC’s submission of a final funding proposal on the matter to the Minister of Finance.
Gauteng’s portion of the e-Toll debt is R12,9 billion and increases daily as it attracts interest. The longer it takes for a model to be adopted by the provincial government, the more this debt will increase.
The DA is clear on its stance on the scrapping of e-Tolls. The debt that the Gauteng government has undertaken to pay cannot be funded by increased or new taxes. This will defeat the objective of lightening the tax burden on ordinary citizens of the province and will, in effect, bring no change to the burden citizens will have to carry.
The DA will put pressure on MEC Mamabolo to be transparent about how the Gauteng government will be paying its portion of the e-Toll debt and to announce whether an agreement has been reached with the Minister of Finance and what that agreement entails.
Residents are still being billed for an unwanted system that was supposedly scrapped. The citizens of Gauteng can no longer live with the uncertainty about e-Tolls, and we need a solution to the scrapping of the e-Tolls now.
The DA will continue to put pressure on the MEC for Finance and the Premier of Gauteng, Panyaza Lesufi, until e-Tolls have finally been scrapped.