Cabinet has decided to scrap the electronic tolling of Gauteng’s freeways, Moneyweb reported on Monday, citing transport minister Fikile Mbalula.
The decision has, however, been met with resistance from national treasury, Mbalula reportedly said.
“When we went to cabinet, a decision was taken. When it was supposed to be implemented to scrap the e-tolls, treasury said, ‘No wait!’
“So that is where we are. We have done a lot of work between then and today so we will be ready by February to make an announcement on this matter and how we are going to handle the e-toll thing in South Africa.
“The minister of finance will be in a position to make the announcement in the budget speech in February.
“If not, we may make that announcement even before the budget speech if cabinet and us are in agreement on the way forward,” Moneyweb quoted the minister as saying.
Last month, roads agency Sanral reported an almost one-third slump in revenue from e-tolls in Gauteng in the financial year to end-March 2021, despite government guarantees for the project to the tune of R2.7-billion.
The state-owned agency’s annual report showed a revenue downturn of 31.3% compared to the 2020 financial year as motorists continued to boycott the unpopular scheme.
National government has long dithered on what to do about non-payment, with Mbalula making repeated promises over a period of years that a decision was imminent only for nothing to transpire.
Gauteng motorists have rebelled against the e-tolling scheme since its establishment eight years ago.
Public anger over e-toll sled to the formation of a public coalition opposed to e-tolls known as Outa, or the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance. Outa is now known as the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse and has a wider remit than just opposing the Gauteng e-tolls system. — (c) 2021 NewsCentral Media