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Mboweni on e-tolls: Motorists must pay up, there's nothing for mahala

Just last week, Parliament heard that Sanral was in aggressive talks with government on how to pay for the controversial Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.

Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN – Amid public outcry over e-tolls in Gauteng, the new Finance Minister Tito Mboweni says nothing is for mahala.

Tito Mboweni has made it clear that he’s against e-tolls being scrapped.

Just last week, Parliament heard that Sanral was in aggressive talks with government on how to pay for the controversial Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.

But Mboweni’s sentiments on tolling was met with jeers from the opposition benches when he made his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement on Wednesday.

Motorists owe Sanral at least R10 billion in unpaid e-tolls and it’s had to put some projects on ice to manage its debt.

The new finance minister says motorists must pay up.

“If we want a road transport infrastructure that works, we need to pay our tolls... Government remains committed.”

Mboweni says the user-pay principle is the most effective way to ensure that services are paid for by those who use them.

He says the country needs to restore a culture of payment.

“There’s nothing for mahala. It doesn’t exist, mahala. To get something you must first get something from Paul.”

WATCH: Unpacking the MTBPS 2018

SOES BAILOUTS

Meanwhile, several ailing state-owned companies will get cash injections but the minister says the time has come for parastatals to be reconfigured.

South African Airways is getting a R5 billion bailout and the Post Office will receive nearly R3 billion.

Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) has called for more decisive action on state-owned entities after Mboweni announcement of bailouts.

BLSA says the amount of money spent on bailing out SOEs remains too high.

COO Busisiwe Mavuso says: “SAA once again requires a bailout of R19 billion between SAA and SA Express Airways. I think the government is going to have to make a decision in as far as these SOEs are concerned because they continue to be a burden to the government and indeed the fiscus.”

It wasn't all bad news though; we don't have to steel ourselves for any further tax hikes, at least for now.

This despite revenue collection in 2017/2018 coming in R800 million lower than estimated, Mboweni announced additional consumer goods which will be VAT exempt from next year.

These include sanitary pads.

However, the implementation of the zero-rate will cause a revenue loss of more than R1 billion.

READ: The full MTPBS

Speech by Primedia Broadcasting on Scribd

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)