South Africa 11.6.2015 12:00 pm

E-tolls are here to stay – Ramaphosa

The sun sets over an e-toll gantry on the N1 highway near Randburg. Picture: Michel Bega

The sun sets over an e-toll gantry on the N1 highway near Randburg. Picture: Michel Bega

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa reiterated on Wednesday that South Africa and those living in Gauteng in particular had to accept that e-tolls were there to stay.

Responding to a question posed by EFF MP Mbuyiseni during questions in the National Assembly, he said the SA National Roads Agency Limited was “doing a fantastic job”.

He also insisted that SANRAL was a wholly state owned company and it was not going to be privatised.

Mbuyiseni had charged: “The co-modification of our roads is the most evil thing people with capitalist memorandums like you, can impose on our people.”

Ramaphosa said SANRAL owed in the region of R20 billion. The money, which had been garnered through a variety of bonds, had time frames and had to be re-paid.

“We should accept that we are going to continue to improve our roads,” Ramaphosa said.

Following the outcry by motorists over e-tolls, Ramaphosa said the Gauteng government “heeded” the call to address concerns raised. The panel established accepted that the user pay principal should apply but found that the tariffs were too high.

In government’s favour, a special dispensation for motorists was introduced but the national and Gauteng fiscus would have to fill the gap, said Ramaphosa.

 

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