Outa on Friday welcomed the announcement by Gauteng premier David Makhura to commission a panel to assess the impact of e-tolling in Gauteng.
“It is, however, very important that this does not simply become another co-option tactic that degenerates into a meaningless talk shop,” Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance spokesman John Clarke said in a statement.
“It must be an honest and frank engagement by the authorities to unpack the real issues on the matter.”
During his state-of-the-province address in Thokoza, south of Johannesburg, Makhura said a panel would be set up to review the impact of e-tolls, the SABC reported.
Government would invite new proposals on how a lasting solution could be found, according to the broadcaster.
“We must make it clear that we cannot close our eyes to the cries of sectors of our population who are severely affected by the cost of travelling in the province,” Makhura was quoted as saying.
“How we finance this infrastructure must be deliberated upon and agreed upon by all of us.”
Outa chairman Wayne Duvenage said Makhura appeared to have a clear understanding of the “irrationality” and high costs of the system, which he said was unaffordable to thousands of people.
“Civil society must continue to keep the pressure on government so that a more ambitious challenge can be made by premier Makhura,” he said.
E-tolling was implemented in Gauteng in December despite several court challenges to halt the project.