One of the most unpopular political policies of the past decade continues to loom over Gauteng – and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere fast. Despite promises from various government departments to review the purpose of e-tolls, the contract in place with the ETC has been renewed, meaning that the gantries will remain in the province for at least another year.
In 2019, there was renewed hope that e-tolls had run their course. Low compliance, disastrous litigation attempts and the crushing debt caused by a mass rebellion against the payments have essentially rendered them useless. But for those hoping that COVID-19 would put the final nail in its coffin, there’s some bad news to report.
The residents of Gauteng have made it clear that they are not willing to pay for e-Tolls as it was something that they were not consulted on before it’s implementation. Given the current economic climate, e-Tolls is something that our residents in Gauteng are unable to pay.— DA Gauteng (@DA_GPL) December 7, 2020
The deal means that e-tolls could still be operational in Gauteng by early 2022, all but ignoring the political promises made this time last year. Fred Nel is the shadow MEC for transport in the province, and he’s made his feelings perfectly clear on the matter. The DA representative is furious that this ‘unfair tax burden’ has the potential to criminalise millions of motorists.
“We note with great concern, that the e-tolls contract with Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) has once again been renewed. This clearly means that the ANC government does not have any intention to scrap e-Tolls any time soon and they are making empty promises that the matter is at a critical stage and is being looked into.”
“It is now more than a year since President Cyril Ramaphosa indicated that the cabinet will make a decision on the future of the e-Tolls, but yet we are still waiting on a decision. E-tolls – which are an unfair tax burden on the residents of Gauteng – must be scrapped before they turn motorists into criminals.”Fred Nel