E-toll review panel to be announced

David Makhura's office says the terms of reference for the panel will also be outlined.

David Makhura unveiled plans to establish a panel to review e-tolls last month. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Premier David Makhura is expected to announce this week who will be in charge of the highly-anticipated panel set up to review the impact of e-tolls.

The premier's office says the terms of reference for the panel will also be outlined.

Last month, Makhura unveiled plans to establish a panel to investigate the controversial project's impact on the province during his inaugural State of the Province Address (Sopa).

Makhura said the panel would work with national government, municipalities and stakeholders to find a solution to the payment of e-tolls.

He said he was serious about transforming the province into an economically inclusive region and called on those affected by e-tolling to speak out.

Despite the massive debt incurred over seven months since the system was launched, no motorists have been prosecuted for non-payment.

There are high expectations from the public and civil society for the panel to either scrap the system or for another payment model to be implemented.

The South African National Roads Agency Limited, on the other hand, is not pleased with the panel, saying it has negatively impacted on investor confidence in the roads agency.

The controversial e-tolling system went live on 3 December after months of legal wranglings, protests and calls for civil disobedience.

Meanwhile, the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) says it hopes the much anticipated panel to review the e-tolling process will be a thorough and different from other attempts at consulting the public.

The alliance's Wayne Duvenage is positive about the new panel, which is expected to receive its mandate before the end of the week.

"This time around the premier aims to get to the bottom of issues now that tolling has been launched and he's been able to see what the problems are. So he's certainly not going to be flippant and just gloss over the issues."

He says all legal action against motorists must be placed on hold for the review to take place.

"Sanral should be holding back any plans to issue summons to non-payers until this process is followed through and I think the premier should be doing the same thing."

Sanral has indicated that it's not pleased with the move to review the impact of etolls because this affects confidence in the agency.