Opposition parties weigh in on e-tolling

The DA and the EFF are making submissions on the shortcomings of the multi-billion rand project.

FILE: An e-toll gantry on the N1 in Johannesburg.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng's two main opposition parties are expected to make submissions to the e-tolls assessment panel today where they're likely to argue that the system is too expensive.

The Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters are making submissions on the shortcomings of the multi-billion rand project.

The panel has been set up by the province's premier David Makhura to probe the socio-economic impact on motorists and the economy.

The two parties are expected to join the chorus of voices at this panel calling for the e-tolling system to be scrapped.

The EFF's Julius Mdluli says if government cuts down on corruption, it will be able to afford to pay back the debt for the roads and cancel the multi-billion rand contract.

"We are calling for them to remove e-tolls. They don't serve any purpose."

At the same time, the DA's Neil Campbell says a fuel levy is the best option to pay for upgraded roads.

"We believe it should be ring-fenced and it should be at a national level. That will be our first prize."

The African National Congress is expected to make its submissions next week.

At the same time, the ANC in the province at the weekend reiterated it would not be supporting the tolling project, with chairperson Paul Mashatile saying a new system must be introduced.

"People are not saying they don't want to pay but they are saying this one, the way it's designed, is problematic, expensive and creating problems. Let's look at another method."

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