Makhura's e-toll review panel criticised

The Democratic Alliance says the review process failed to act in the public interest.

FILE: The e-toll system went live on 3 December, 2013. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has criticised the e-toll review process undertaken by Gauteng Premier David Makhura saying it failed to act in the public interest.

DA leaders are now suggesting that the cost of recovering money spent on the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral)'s e-tolling system be covered nationally.

The party is proposing the implementation of a national fuel levy of 11 cents or 33 cents if applying to Gauteng to settle the roads agency's debt and see the end of the system.

A national fuel levy and provincial referendums are just some of the ways the DA believes it will see the scrapping of e-tolls for good.

The party claims Makhura's review panel has offered no relief to Gauteng motorists who are still being called on to pay their e-toll fees.

Among its 50 findings, the report also suggests that elements of the system must be reviewed.

People who can only afford to live on the outskirts of the province are hit the hardest by e-tolling fees.

DA provincial leader John Moodey said, "Calling for further consultation etc just draws out the pain and suffering of our people."

The party says a national fuel levy of around 11 cents could see Sanral recovering around R2.1 billion it requires within a period of around one year.

Last week, the Transport Department said it will study the findings of the e-tolls assessment panel.

The panel found middle and low income households are carrying the financial burden of the infamous gantries and it recommends a hybrid model of funding.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said it will remain committed to ensuring the e-tolls network is affordable for everyone.

The department's Ishmael Mnisi told Eyewitness News , "The minister and the Department of Transport remain committed towards ensuring a reliable, effective, efficient and economical transport system that is responsive to the socio-economic conditions of all South Africans."

The controversial e-tolling system went live on 3 December, 2013, despite public outcry.