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'GP mustn't lose sight of existing e-toll users'

Nazir Alli says 1,2 million people are registered for e-tolling and pay their bills regularly.

Sanral CEO Nazir Alli. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng residents must not "lose sight" that 1,2 million people are registered and pay e-toll bills regularly, South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) chief executive officer (CEO) Nazir Alli said on Wednesday.

This amid a wave of criticism over the implementation of the controversial project.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura's e-toll assessment panel is expected to hand in a report to the provincial government by the end of November after speaking to business, labour and residents.

So far only one company, Consulting Engineers South Africa, has submitted documents supporting the multi -billion rand project.

Alli acknowledged that there are some technical issues with e-tolling bills but says everything is under control.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters says no motorist will be prosecuted until all the billing issues have been dealt with, although two prosecutors have already been appointed to deal with cases.

Sanral says there is nothing wrong with its equipment and the accuracy thereof.

Peters earlier said the big debate in the transport sector should be around infrastructure funding and pricing and not just e-tolling.

The minister also reiterated that the e-toll assessment panel has got nothing to do with her department.

"That panel's report is not my report. It's not the national Department of Transport's report because we did not constitute a panel to review any policy. The user-pay principle is the policy in South Africa."

'ANC NEEDS TO LISTEN'

The Gauteng ANC says e-tolling has improved the quality of roads in the province.

But provincial government officials say the party needs to listen to residents if it is impacting people.

The Gauteng ANC has previously been opposed to the project and this issue is expected to be high on the agenda at this weekend's elective conference.

More than 400 branches will attend the conference in Pretoria.

Deputy provincial secretary Boyce Maneli said the ANC can't ignore the e-tolling controversy.

"As a party that listens to the people, we should be looking at the impact of e-tolls on the lives of people in Gauteng. So as we engage in policy discussions, we should be able to discuss these issues as they affect our people and see what else needs to be done."