E-toll advisory panel reputable – transport portfolio

FILE PICTURE: Gauteng premier David Makhura. Picture: Alaister Russell

FILE PICTURE: Gauteng premier David Makhura. Picture: Alaister Russell

The panel of 15 people chosen by Gauteng premier David Makhura to assess the socio-economic impact of e-tolls in the province is a reputable team, the provincial transport portfolio committee said on Friday.

The committee’s chairman Jacob Khawe said the panel was a team of professionals with extensive knowledge and experience on transport economics.

It also possessed the legal expertise to look at the socio-economic impact of the e-tolls system and its impact on the residents of Gauteng, he said.

On Thursday, Makhura said government was serious about assessing the impact of e-tolls on Gauteng residents and the economy.

“If we were not serious we wouldn’t announce that this matter required our attention… We wouldn’t come this far,” Makhura told reporters in Johannesburg.

He announced the names of 10 of the 15 members of the panel, which would meet for the first time next Thursday.

The panel members are: chairman Muxe Nkondo, Patricia Hanekom, John Ngcebetsha, Vuyo Mahlathi, Luci Abrahams, Fiona Tregenna, Anna Mokgokong, John Sampson, Lauretta Teffo, and Chris Malikane.

Five more members were expected to be announced later, Makhura said.

The panel was tasked with inviting proposals and submissions from Gauteng residents on proposed solutions to e-tolling. It would submit its findings and recommendations to the provincial government.

The panel was expected to present monthly reports, and give final reports and recommendations to the Gauteng provincial government by November 30, 2014.

Khawe advised the public to take note of the time frame for submissions.

“The committee would like to urge motorists and general public to make submissions to the panel and adhere to the time frame that was announced by the premier.

He said the process was an opportunity for the public to make their voices heard on issues affecting them and to be involved in a process of participatory democracy.

On September 25, President Jacob Zuma signed into law the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill, giving the go-ahead for e-tolling in Gauteng.

The e-toll system started operating across Gauteng on December 3, following several court challenges and widespread public opposition.

Khawe reiterated Makhura’s call for Gauteng motorists to continue paying their e-toll bills while government worked at finding a lasting solution.

– Sapa


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