Gauteng e-toll gantry. Photo: ANA

FF Plus displeased with Premier Makhura’s sudden u-turn on e-toll debate

Premier David Makhura says the Gauteng ANC wants SANRAL’s e-toll debt paid.


Gauteng e-toll gantry. Photo: ANA

A press statement by Freedom Front Plus’ (FF Plus) Advocate Anton Alberts, revealed that Gauteng Premier David Makhura appeared to be backtracking on the electronic toll (e-toll) issue.

Alberts, FF Plus national chairperson and a Member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (MPL), attended a question and answer session in the Gauteng Legislature. The FF Plus asked what the Gauteng African National Congress’ (ANC) final position on the e-toll issue.

The Gauteng ANC’s final position on e-tolls

e-toll. File Picture/ANA

In his response, Makhura indicated that the Gauteng ANC’s final position on e-tolls was that the South African National Roads Agency’s (SANRAL) debt must be paid. The FF Plus was not pleased with this stance.

They argued how the Gauteng ANC had always stated that they were completely opposed to the electronic tolls. The new position appears to be something that was recently decided.

Alberts shared:

“During recent negotiations with the national ANC government, the Gauteng ANC decided that certain road users, particularly large companies, must keep on paying e-toll.”

Advocate Anton Alberts, FF Plus national chairperson and Member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature

ANC backtracking on e-toll stance

A question and answer session at the Gauteng Legislature for the 4th House Sitting. Photo: Twitter/@ @David_Makhura

Up until the runup to the 2019 general elections, the leading party had repeatedly made it clear that they were totally opposed to the tolls. The new position was quite strange as the Gauteng ANC even marched to the Union Buildings in protest against electronic tolls and the national ANC government.

To push for solid action, the MPL encouraged Makhura and the ANC in Gauteng to take the abolishment of e-tolls seriously. Alberts asked them to “declare a formal dispute with the national government in terms of the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act and exhaust the remedies contained therein.”

The MPL insisted that the ANC’s true position should stand and if it’s still opposed and all avenues have been rendered useless, the provincial ANC government should take the national government to court.

According to Alberts, Makhura’s response was: “There exists no dispute between the provincial and national governments regarding e-toll.” The MPL felt the premiere’s answer was suspicious and indicated a bigger problem.

Large businesses could be forced to pay toll debt

An electronic toll gantry on a Johannesburg highway. Photo: Shutterstock/Beate Wolte

He noted that Makhura and his ANC team might have “capitulated.” The FF Plus was also concerned that large businesses would be saddled with paying the e-toll debt.

He lamented on how these companies were “already highly taxed.” The MPL anticipated “more job losses as businesses try to absorb the e-toll costs.”

Alberts noted how the ANC couldn’t be trusted when it came to the e-toll issue but promised that the FF Plus would continue fighting to have e-tolls completely abolished.