“There’s only one centre of policy-making as far as government is concerned and that’s national government,” said department spokesman Tiyani Rikhotso.
He was responding to comments by ANC Gauteng chairman Paul Mashatile at the ruling party’s provincial congress that the recommendations of an e-tolls review panel would be implemented.
Mashatile told delegates that government agencies, particularly the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), did not run the country.
“It’s not that I don’t like Sanral, but they must know their place,” Mashatile said in Pretoria on Friday.
Rikhotso said the comments should be seen in the context of a separation between national government, which determined policy and legislation, and provinces, which implemented it.
“The division of mandate is quite clear as far as policy-making is concerned. We are responsible for the implementation of the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Act which was signed into law by the president in 2013,” Rikhotso said.
“Among other things, that particular mandate gives authority to the department of transport, through Sanral, to operate tolling so far as the 201km of the road network in question in Gauteng is concerned.”
Rikhotso said the e-tolls review panel was set up by Gauteng premier David Makhura to examine the economic and social impact of the tolling system, and not review the e-tolls policy itself, which could only be done by national government.
“We acknowledge the efforts by the premier of Gauteng on the social impact of the implementation of tolling,” Rikhotso said.
“We will continue engaging with all stakeholders, including the province of Gauteng, on the question of e-tolling.”
The review panel is expected to present its findings to Makhura at the end of November.