E-toll talks at policy conference are key - Gauteng ANC

The Gauteng ANC said it still believes negotiations are key to breaking the e-tolling deadlock.

A protester holds up a placard voicing their message against e-tolling. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng ANC on Tuesday said it believes negotiations are key to breaking the e-tolling deadlock, and that this week's national policy conference will provide a stage for more debate.

"The negotiating table is the answer to e-tolling and we believe we will be answered," Gauteng provincial spokesperson Nkenke Kekana said.

The ruling party is holding its national policy conference at the Gallagher Estate in Midrand, Johannesburg, this week. Policies will be debated over the next three days, but no final decisions will be made.

The ANC in Gauteng has warmed up to the idea of an increase in the fuel levy as a short-term solution to paying the debt incurred by the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) to improve Gauteng roads.

In 2007, the roads agency loaned more than R30 billion rand to improve Gauteng's highways, and the e-tolling project was intended to repay that loan.

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa), who applied for an interdict to halt the project, is due to take on government over e-tolling in the Constitutional Court on 15 August.

Government wants the decision to halt e-tolling overturned. It argues the April ruling will soon affect South Africa's economy negatively and possibly lower its credit rating.

But the alliance believes the project is irrational and too expensive.

The implementation of e-tolling will see motorists paying 35c/km to travel on some of Gauteng's highways.