Motlanthe defends e-tolls

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe says e-toll will improve congestion on Gauteng roads.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe. Picture: Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng e-tolls will alleviate the crippling congestion on the roads, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Friday.

He was speaking at a meeting in Sandton, north of Johannesburg.

The gathering was between Business Unity South Africa (Busa) and the inter-ministerial committee on the tolls.

In April, the controversial project was put on hold after the North Gauteng High Court granted an urgent to the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa).

Judge Bill Prinsloo ordered for a review of the system.

Government has now approached the Constitutional Court to challenge the ruling.

On Friday, the media was only allowed to attend the opening remarks before being asked to leave.

Busa Vice-President Brenda Madumise spoke about building trust between business and government.

The organisation believes the "user-pays principle" is not the best option.

It is supporting an additional fuel levy to cover the costs of the project.

But Motlanthe said Gauteng is at the heart of South Africa's economy and delays on the roads have far-reaching consequences.

"Congestion has a negative impact on the economy as a whole, because it slows down movement of people and goods."

Similar sessions are due to take place in coming weeks.