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'E-toll review panel was democracy at work'

Gauteng Premier David Makhura presented the provincial government's performance report before the legislature.

FILE: Gauteng Premier David Makhura addresses the provincial legislature. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Premier David Makhura has described the e-toll review panel as an example of democracy at work.

The premier presented the provincial government's performance report before the legislature yesterday.

He says the review process has facilitated active citizen engagement which would have pleased the late Nelson Mandela.

Makhura thanked Gauteng residents who were active during the review process.

He called on South Africans to put politics aside to find viable solutions to challenges all citizens face.

"Let's not allow political grand-standing and posturing to obscure the tremendous progress we've made and the many challenges which still face us as nation."

The panel was setup in July to assess the socio-economic impact of e-tolls.

It received input from the public, labour, business and political parties, the majority of them opposing the system.

Makhura said they will only release the findings of the report after it has been discussed with local and national government and made its own determinations.

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

Makhura has assured Gauteng residents that the recommendations of the report will be taken seriously.

Government's course of action with regards to the findings will be announced next year.