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PROJECT|Road|Roads|System|transport
PROJECT|Road|Roads|System|transport
project|road|roads|system|transport

Up to 12% of Gauteng motorists still paying their e-toll bills, says Outa

A toll gantry on the N12

Photo by Creamer Media

15th February 2024

By: Darren Parker

Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online

     

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Between 10% and 12% of road users in Gauteng are still paying for e-tolls, despite the October 2022 announcement by Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana that e-tolls would be scrapped, Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) CEO Wayne Duvenhage has said.

Speaking at the South African Real Estate Investment Trust 2024 conference, in Johannesburg, on February 15, he said that, despite Godongwana’s announcement, government had still not formally ended e-tolls, allowing billing to continue for more than a year past its declared end date.

“It continues to this day because government doesn't know how to implement its own decisions. It remains on life support,” he said.

Ending the e-tolls requires the Transport Minister to declare the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) roads to no longer be subject to tolls, which has not been done. As such, motorists continue to be billed.

Government had promised that e-tolls would be halted by the end of 2022, but this has not happened.

Instead, the contract with e-tolls collection agency Electronic Toll Collection was extended again, despite Godongwana’s announcement and Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi’s proclamations that the e-toll scheme would be deactivated by the end of 2022.

Duvenhage said the majority of those who still pay their e-tolls bills are private companies, whom he called on to stop paying.

“If they made the decision not to pay, it would be switched off tomorrow,” he said.

However, as it stood, he said, about R40-million a month was still being poured into a system that should have been shut down at the end of 2022.

To scrap the e-tolls, Godongwana said national government would pay for 70% of the debt incurred to roll out the first phase of the GFIP, while the Gauteng government would be expected to pay the balance.

The provincial government was meant to provide National Treasury with a plan on how it would fund the portion of debt it was responsible for, but this has yet to happen.

Radio station Jacaranda FM on February 14 quoted Gauteng Finance MEC Jacob Mamabolo as saying that Lesufi would make an announcement in this regard during his State of the Province Address on February 19.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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