Will they stay or will they go? After a year or two of looking like the e-tolls saga would finally be coming to an end, it seems Gauteng motorists might be stuck with them after all. Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula did a u-turn this week, as he stressed that government needs the money from e-tolls for road maintenance. The Automobile Association is not convinced though, it says that motorists will never pay for the dreaded tolls.
The AA quickly jumped on those comments. The association says it remains adamant that the e-toll system in its current form will fail. That’s due to motorists taking what it calls, a “principled stance”.
So what about Mbalula’s claims that e-tolls are needed for funding road maintenance? The AA says that comment is completely misleading.
“Research is clear that the overwhelming majority of Gauteng motorists will never pay e-tolls under any circumstances,” the AA says in a statement.
Little over 25% of motorists are actually paying their e-tolls. So if the system is here to stay as government is hinting that it could, will they find new ways to make us pay up?
With an election right around the corner. And with new murmurs of a rise in e-tolls circling, it’s clear that the fight against the system will continue. The Gauteng government is against it, SANRAL is against it (now), it seems it’s only Mbalula who can’t seem to make his mind up.