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Gauteng voters head to polls unsure of e-tolls future

E-toll gantries went live more than five years ago but were met with fierce resistance and this opposition continues to grow fuelled by mixed messages from those in power.

An e-toll gantry on the highway in Gauteng. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – South Africans are just two days away from casting their votes in the national elections and one of the burning campaign issues, e-tolls is back in the spotlight in Gauteng.

E-toll gantries went live more than five years ago but were met with fierce resistance and this opposition continues to grow fuelled by mixed messages from those in power.

In March, the South African National Road Agency Limited (Sanral) suspended the collection of e-tolls debt which included historic debt and summonses issued from 2015.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has again criticised the African National Congress (ANC) for not scrapping the system by now, as promised by its leadership in the province.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, Transport Minister Blade Nzimande and Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu were clear on e-tolls: Road users must pay.

But their counterparts in the Gauteng ANC are singing a different tune. They include chair David Makhura, his deputy Panyaza Lesufi and provincial executive member Kgosientso Ramokgopa.

Amid these mixed messages and much confusion, road users will go to the polls on Wednesday unsure about the future of e-tolls.

The DA's Premier candidate Solly Msimanga said that the ANC had taken far too long to decide on the matter.

Msimanga said that if he ascended to the premiership, he would take on the e-tolls fight head on until it was resolved.

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