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AA: E-tolls expensive, ineffective

So far, only Consulting Engineers South Africa is in full support of the project.

FILE: The controversial e-tolling system went live on 3 December after months of legal wranglings, protests and calls for civil disobedience. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Drivers organisation the Automobile Association (AA) has told the Gauteng e-tolls advisory panel that the project is expensive and ineffective.

The panel was announced by Gauteng Premier David Makhura after huge opposition to the project in the province.

The panel has been tasked with assessing the socio-economic impact of the system.

The overwhelming majority of submissions received by the panel have recommended that the system be stopped.

So far, only Consulting Engineers South Africa is in full support of the project.

The AA says it's maintaining its opposition to tolling after making the same recommendation in 2011.

The organisation's Marius Luyt says government has a responsibility to maintain road infrastructure using methods that will not be to the detriment of motorists.

"There should be a return dedicated to a road fund which is sourced from existing fuel taxes."

PETERS STICKS TO HER GUNS

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters says the outcome of the Gauteng provincial government's e-tolls review panel will not have any impact on her policy that users must pay to travel on the province's highways.

The minister said she is not changing national government policy because of a provincial review panel

"It's important that the panel doesn't create the impression that we're going to do away with the system. The system will be government's policy to accelerate infrastructure development."

She also said the panel is only reporting to Makhura.

"The panel will report to him and that's the end of it."

Peters said Makhura only told her about the panel after he announced it to the public.