E-toll panel’s purpose not to review e-toll system

Gauteng premier David Makhura and the Department of Transport are at odds over the e-toll review panel, according to a report by The Sunday Independent.

Makhura is said to be “downplaying” the feud between his provincial government and the national department over the establishment of the review panel, which is tasked with looking at the viability of the tolling system and taking in feedback from affected stakeholders.

Gauteng road users’ hopes were raised that the e-toll system might be scrapped following the review, but Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters cut short that hope when she said the panel had taken on “a life of its own”.

“It’s important that the panel does not create the impression that we’re going to do away with the system,” said Peters.

The public submissions made to the review panel so far have been overwhelmingly against e-tolling, according to the newspaper.

Makhura’s office has now confirmed that Peters’ statement on the purpose of the panel was correct – it is not there to look at the possible removal of the e-tolling system.

“The mandate given to the panel is to do a socio-economic impact of the e-tolls, not (to look into) the policy itself,” said Makhura’s spokesman Thabo Masebe.

Multiple groups, including Cosatu and Outa, have not only called for Peters to let the review panel run its course, but to scrap the e-toll system completely.

The public hearings on e-tolling are set to continue this week.

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E-toll panel’s purpose not to review e-toll system