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Satawu says fuel levy the best solution to e-tolling

Cesa is the only party which is against the fuel levy saying it’s not realistic.

FILE: Satawu’s Provincial Secretary Chris Nkosi says the panel must consider looking at alternative ways to fund the road upgrades.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) has told the Gauteng e-toll review panel that although it recognises roads have been significantly improved, e-tolling remains unsustainable.

Satawu's Provincial Secretary Chris Nkosi says the panel must consider looking at alternative ways to fund the road upgrades.

The union is the sixth interested party to make submissions to the panel which has been tasked by Gauteng's Premier David Makhura to assess the socio-economic impact of the multi-billion rand project.

On Thursday the business sector also made submissions for and against the system.

Most of the parties have told the review panel that a fuel levy would be the ideal way to pay for the road upgrades.

The Black Business Council's (BBC) Babalwa Ngoyama has proposed that government in partnership with business pay for a portion of the e-tolls in order to lower the costs.

She says however a fuel levy remains the most effective way to collect the money.

"If we believe that by spreading it over a longer term and including it as part of the fuel levy, the impact will be very small. It will not be felt."

Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) is the only party which is against the fuel levy saying it's not realistic.

UNPAID E-TOLL PROSECUTIONS

Last month, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters told the South African National Roads Agency Limited not to continue prosecuting motorists who have e-toll debt until all the problems with the system have been dealt with.

Two prosecutors have already been appointed to deal with e-toll court cases once government decides to go ahead with prosecutions.

The Gauteng review panel has to submit its final report with recommendations to the provincial government by the end of November.

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