The review of e-tolling, announced by Gauteng premier David Makhura on Friday 27 June 2014, is an attempt to win back votes the ANC lost in the May 2014 elections. This is according to a report in the Sunday Times.
Makhura announced in his State of the Province Address that an e-tolling panel will be set up which will solicit proposals on how to find new solutions for funding the province’s road infrastructure.
He said that they cannot close their eyes to the “cries of the sectors of our population who are affected by the cost of travelling across the province”.
Many groups welcomed the decision, including the Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) and the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa), saying it is the “first real platform for dialogue on the matter”.
The Sunday Times reported that e-tolling was seen as the main reason by the ANC for its loss of votes in the province – down from 65% in 2009 to 53% on 2014.
“There’s been behind-the-scenes negotiations between province and national on the matter. When the election results were announced, it was decided then that this is an issue that we needed to look at,” said a member of the ANC provincial executive.
A Sunday Independent report added that the e-toll review is a bid to avoid losing control of the province in the 2016 municipal elections.
The City Press in turn reported that a “national fuel levy is likely to replace e-tolling … to repay its R20 billion public infrastructure debt”.