Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Monday admitted in his state of the province address that the province’s controversial e-tolling system was a mistake, more than three years after its implementation.
Speaking at the Greenhills Stadium in Randfontein, Makhura announced the province’s transport infrastructure plans.
“We are mobilising resources for public transport infrastructure in ways that will ensure that we don’t commit the same mistakes done with the e-tolls. We can’t build roads and only later inform citizens that they must pay. In fact, there will be no e-tolls on our new roads,” he said.
The freeway electronic tolls have been met by resistance from Gauteng motorists who have refused to pay their bills for the system, including sustained opposition from the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) and labour federation Cosatu.
The ANC in Gauteng has since moved to find alternative ways to pay for the costly tolling system, which many political analysts believe cost the party electoral support during the municipal polls in 2016 to the Democratic Alliance (DA), which now runs two of Gauteng’s biggest metros, Johannesburg and Tshwane.
“I must admit publicly, as I did last year, that all the efforts we have made through the Advisory Panel have not led to the resolution of concerns of Gauteng motorists regarding affordability. We have tried our best.
“The ultimate solution can only come from national level. We will continue to engage in order to represent the interests of our residents,” Makhura said.