According to Outa, Mantashe downplayed the impact of E-tolls on the outcome of the elections and stated that the people of Gauteng “must stop whinging and pay up”.
However, Outa said that the eleven percentage point drop off in overall electoral support for the ANC in Gauteng is a significant decline in the traditional support base of the ANC since the 2009 elections.
“As much as the ANC Executive try to downplay the decline, it is massive and is largely attributed to the decision to force e-tolls on an unwilling and angry public who wont pay for something they were not adequately consulted on or that they didn’t ask for,” said Outa spokesperson John Clarke.
“While the Nkandla issue has been a national one, e-Tolls has been concentrated to the province of Gauteng, which is where the biggest haemorrhage of ANC support took place,” Clarke said.
He added that when the new Gauteng Provincial legislature convenes the ANC will have seven less members than before, with their 40 MPL’s facing a combined total of 33 opposition members from both the left and the right, all of whom are opposed to e-tolls.
“Mr Mantashe is not serving the interests of the ANC by playing along with Sanral’s ambitions on e-tolls,” Clarke said.
Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage said that “before it gets any messier” the Gauteng-based ANC Leadership would be wise to embark on a path of meaningful engagement with stakeholders on the e-toll issue as soon as possible.
“If they want the truth on how the Gauteng public feel about e-tolls, they should consider calling a referendum, or take a serious look at the myriad of polls and discussions on the matter,” Duvenage said.
Duvenage said that the e-toll decision was always flawed as a result of poor research, weak data, and an arrogant attitude employed by Sanral to convince the authorities to proceed.
He added that well over a million freeway users in Gauteng defying the system are evidence of this, combined with the serious administrative problems, extremely high costs and gross inefficiencies.
“It’s certainly not going to get better,” Duvenage said.