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E-tolls report to be released today

In July, David Makhura said the panel would come up with solutions to the public's concerns about e-tolling.

In July, David Makhura said the panel would come up with solutions to the public's concerns about e-tolling. Picture: Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng e-tolls assessment panel has sent its recommendations on the multi-billion rand project to Premier David Makhura.

Makhura established the panel in July after he announced during his State of the Province Address that experts would assess the socio-economic impact of the system.

The findings will be made public at a media briefing in Johannesburg this morning.

In July, Makhura said the panel would come up with solutions to the public's concerns about the system.

But four months down the line, it's still unclear whether Transport Minister Dipuo Peters will even consider the report.

Shortly after the panel was established, Peters told Parliament the user pay principle is a national policy, which will remain in place, irrespective of what the provincial government has to say on the matter.

The panel has heard submissions from the public, business, labour and political parties all opposed to the system.

SANRAL DUBS E-TOLLS A 'MASTERPIECE'

Two weeks ago the panel conducted its last sitting at its head offices in Pretoria with South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) submitting arguments in favour of e-tolls.

The panel heard the multibillion rand project is a "masterpiece" which is the best model in both "theory and practice".

Transport economist Roelf Botha, who made submissions to the panel on behalf of Sanral, said some groups are only opposed to the e-toll system because it's politically unpopular.

Botha also lashed out at the Congress of South African Trade Unions, saying it must remember it doesn't run the country.

He also told the panel those who don't pay their e-toll bills or make use of public transport must "shut-up" and not participate in the e-tolls debate, but later retracted his comments.

The controversial system went live on 3 December last year despite public outcry.