OUTA e-tolls

OUTA says workaround for e-tolls has existed since the beginning

OUTA have placed themselves squarely between Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and Gauteng Premier David Makhura in their debate on e-tolls.

OUTA e-tolls

There were no surprises when OUTA waded into a social media debate between Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and Gauteng Premier David Makhura about e-tolls.

OUTA wades in

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) joined the heated argument on Twitter between Minister Mboweni and Premier Makhura by claiming government could have used the fuel levy to help service the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project debt (GFIP).

“Early in the e-toll saga, Outa suggested that the bonds for the GFIP should be funded in the same way that Sanral funds over 18 000 kilometers of its non-tolled network, through allocations from (National) Treasury and, if needed, via a ring-fenced fuel levy increase of 10c per liter at the time of launch,” the organisation said in a statement.

“Had this been done at that time, the capital value of the project would have already been raised. However, Government’s determination to legitimise a grossly ineffective and irrational scheme has resulted in billions of rand in debt for Sanral.”

Makhura’s stance against e-tolls

During his state of the province address, Premier Makhura claimed his negotiations with government with regards to removing e-tolls were going well and he promised they were on track to removing them from Gauteng completely.

“Our position has not changed. We remain determined to ensure that e-tolls are not part of the future of our province,” he said at the time.

“We are even prepared to contribute something as the provincial government to ensure the e-tolls are scrapped. There is no turning back.”

However, minister Mboweni took serious issue with this stance, taking to Twitter to all but confirm e-tolls are here to stay. Most of the tweets have now been deleted though.

The one that remains talks of how detrimental policy uncertainty can to investment prospects, seemingly taking a dig at the African National Congress flip-flopping on the issue of e-tolls.

Ramaphosa not happy

President Cyril Ramaphosa, not taking either man’s side, rebuke them for their public argument on social media before instructing them to come up with a plan for e-tolls and table it before cabinet by September.