South Africa

Gauteng kisses e-tolls goodbye

The Gauteng Provincial Government will begin the formal process of switching off and de-linking e-tolls on 31 March 2024.

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi said e-tolls would soon be history during his 2024 State of the Province address.

“We have now reached a stage where we all accept that the people of Gauteng have rejected e-tolls,” said Lesufi.

“We held a meeting with the minister of finance. We held a meeting with the minister of transport.”

“All of us now have reached an agreement that by the 31st of March this year, the formal process to switch off and de-link e-tolls will begin, and e-tolls will be history,” he added.

The premier said Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana would elaborate on the subject further in his budget speech on Wednesday.

However, this isn’t the first time Lesufi has made such promises. He also declared the e-toll system a thing of the past in October 2022.

He made the initial announcement shortly after Godongwana’s 2022 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement.

At the time, he said the national and provincial governments would pay off Sanral’s debt on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP).

The e-toll system was a mechanism intended to fund the GFIP. However, Gauteng residents rejected the system, resulting in Sanral accumulating billions of rands in debt from the scheme.

“To resolve the funding impasse, the Gauteng provincial government has agreed to contribute 30% to settling Sanral’s debt and interest obligations, while the national government covers 70%,” Godongwana said nearly two years ago.

Lesufi said the Gauteng provincial government had agreed to formulate a new revenue enhancement model that excludes tolling motorists.

“We are now ready to start a new life without e-tolls in Gauteng,” Lesufi said. “This was not an easy decision, but necessary.”


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