Transport minister Dipuo Peters on Tuesday said she and her team would withdraw from the e-tolls review panel proceedings if they were “taken on”.
Posing questions to Peters and the transport department, a legal expert on the panel said he would reserve some of his questions for roads agency Sanral CEO Nazir Alli to “take him on” to answer his questions.
“I don’t think we came here for those type of things,” Peters responded.
“We didn’t know we were here for a judicial process,” said Peters, adding they could also have brought their own lawyers.
“If that is the approach that some people will be ‘taken on’, then chairperson, I don’t think we will go ahead,” she said before continuing to respond to the panel’s questions.
The panel, sitting in Pretoria, was appointed by Gauteng premier David Makhura in July to examine the economic and social impact of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project and the e-tolling system set up to fund it.
The panel was expected to present its findings to Makhura at the end of the month.
Peters told the panel the e-tolling system was “not a perfect solution but doing nothing was not an option”. She urged motorists to continue paying their e-toll bills, saying it was the “responsible thing to do”.
The transport department and Sanral were expected to make presentations to the panel over the next three days. — Sapa