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Mbalula to clarify govt’s stance on e-tolls during budget vote

The South African National Roads Agency is owed more than R11 billion in unpaid bills.

FILE: Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula addresses the media during a briefing on the Eerste Fabrieke train station collision. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula will meet with all nine provincial offices this week to discuss, among other things, government's position on e-tolls.

On Monday, Gauteng Premier David Makhura delivered the State of the Province Address reiterating that he wants the controversial system scrapped once and for all.

The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) is owed more than R11 billion in unpaid bills.

Mbalula is the fourth minister to head the Department of Transport in five years since the controversial e-tolling system was introduced to motorists in December 2013.

But more than half a decade later, national and provincial governments were still not budging on their views about whether it should be scrapped or not.

Transport Department spokesperson Ayanda-Allie Paine said Mbalula would communicate government’s latest stance on the e-tolls matter next week when the minister delivers his budget vote in Parliament.

“The conversation will continue during the minister’s upcoming meeting with transport MECs across the country and that engagement will take place this Friday,” she said.

On Tuesday morning, Makhura told 702 he would ask the provincial Cabinet to make money available to contribute to paying off the R11 billion debt owed to Sanral.