Calls for scrapping of e-tolls grow after confusion on their fate

This comes after Gauteng Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo declared on SAfm on Thursday that e-tolls were in the past, and the provincial government was moving on.

FILE: An e-tolls gantry on the highway in Gauteng. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG – There are mounting calls for Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula to announce a final decision on e-tolls soon and clear up the matter once and for all.

This comes after Gauteng Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo declared on SAfm on Thursday that e-tolls were in the past, and the provincial government was moving on.

The transport ministry and Cabinet were quick to respond, saying that no decision had been taken.

READ: No decision has been taken yet on e-tolls just yet - Mbalula

With billions of rand spent on e-tolls and insufficient payment from the public, it's being argued that government must face the hard truth.

Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) chief executive officer Wayne Duvenage said: “It is a scheme of the past, government has no chance in trying to resurrect it or get the public to pay – but we want to hear from the minister.”

ALSO READ: Cabinet will make a decision on e-tolls when it's ready - Ntshavheni

He said the announcement by MEC Mamabolo was very ‘interesting'.

“What we do take from the earlier message is that he is the person in the know, he is connected to people in high places, and he wouldn’t have made the statement that the scheme has been scrapped if he didn’t know something.”

Despite an aggressive campaign to get people to pay, the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) has battled to recoup a fraction of its losses and government is being told to call it a day.

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