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Gauteng government set to contribute to e-tolling

Barbara Creecy on Tuesday said the amount of funding would be determined later this year.

FILE: Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy on Tuesday said the provincial government would make some contribution towards funding the e-toll system.

She insisted the user pay system was here to stay.

Creecy has tabled the 2015/2016 budget, increasing the annual budget to R95 billion.

Last year, Premier David Makhura established a review panel, which looked into the socio economic impact of the multi-billion rand project.

The panel recommended that the system be reviewed and recommended a hybrid funding model to pay back the debt.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is still engaging the provincial structures before a final announcement will be made.

Creecy said the amount of funding from the provincial coffers would only be determined later this year.

"We note that the advisory panel's recommendations of a hybrid funding model, which affirm the user pay principal and suggested contributions by national and provincial government to ease the financial burden on motorists."

MORE MONEY MUST BE COLLECTED THROUGH GAMBLING TAXES AND LIQUOR LICENCES

Creecy added that government wanted to see more revenue being collected by the economic development department through gambling taxes and liquor licences.

The provincial government is aiming to raise R4,5 billion of its own revenue through vehicle licences hospital fees and gambling taxes this financial year.

The MEC said if departments wanted more money to be allocated to them they needed to collect more revenue and cut down on wasteful expenditure.

"At the moment departments don't have incentives to collect because they don't benefit directly from those collections."

More than R7 billion has been saved through cutting down on catering, travelling and administrative fees during the last financial year.

The health and education budgets have both been increased by 8,52 percent compared to last year.

The education sector's budget now stands on more than R36 billion, the health department's on R34 billion and social development has been given almost R4 billion.

Meanwhile, opposition parties in the Gauteng Legislature slated Makhura for failing to address the e-tolling issue when he delivered his State of the Province Address (Sopa).

The premier promised there would be an announcement on the way forward regarding e-tolls by the end of this month.

Opposition parties said they were disappointed with the fact that the premier didn't announce the final decision on e-tolling during his Sopa.

The DA's John Moodey said it was an obvious elephant in the room and that a referendum should be held with the people of Gauteng and the premier should take the results back to his counterparts.

The EFF's Mandisa Mashego also wasn't happy with the lack of details surrounding e-tolling.