; Is marching against e-tolls just vote-seeking by all parties? – The Citizen

Is marching against e-tolls just vote-seeking by all parties?

Democratic Alliance Gauteng Premier Candidate Solly Msimanga leads a march against e-tolls  from Westgate transport hub to Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s office opposite Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, Johannesburg, 5 November 2018, to deliver a memorandum. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Democratic Alliance Gauteng Premier Candidate Solly Msimanga leads a march against e-tolls from Westgate transport hub to Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s office opposite Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, Johannesburg, 5 November 2018, to deliver a memorandum. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Amid mud-slinging between the ANC and DA, the public still doesn’t know if e-tolls will be scrapped or are here to stay.

The Democratic Alliance’s march to Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s office yesterday to oppose the renewal of the e-toll contract was a “self-seeking exercise to hog news headlines”, according to the ANC government.

The DA’s Gauteng premier candidate, Solly Msimanga, who led the march to hand over a petition with 50 000 signatures opposing e-tolls, said he wanted Makhura to declare a dispute with national government to force them to stop e-tolls.

Msimanga added: “Since 2014, he has time and time again insisted, when it is strategically convenient, that e-tolls must go. He marched, he established a commission, he said many things, but the most important thing he has not said is to both the ministers of transport and finance ‘do not renew the collection contract when it ends’.

“It is now five years since this contemptuous tolling system was foisted on us, five years of indecisiveness by the ANC.”

Msimanga’s spokesperson Charity Moyo said the DA wanted the collection contract scrapped and instead for e-toll debt to be paid by infrastructure grants.

Makhura’s spokesperson Castro Ngobese’s response was: “The DA is desperate for votes. They will pick any issue to remain relevant, while their own house is imploding as a result of racism and corruption.

“The ANC position has not changed, as was demonstrated by the thousands of Gauteng residents who marched to the Union Buildings.

“E-tolls are not part of the future of the province. The president is looking into the matter and a solution will be found soon. Premier Makhura has met the president on numerous occasions on the matter.”

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse’s (Outa) CEO Wayne Duvenage said the e-toll tender ended on December 3, however, it was claimed that the contract had been extended to 2019. But he questioned whether the continued collection of money would be legal.

“The minister of transport and other parties must give clarity and inform the public of the future plans for e-tolls. They must also explain why e-tolls should continue and state if the Act that allows for this.”

jenniffero@citizen.co.za

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