Small business department stands by e-tolls

The small business development department stood by the national government’s position on e-tolls, while the e-toll advisory panel continued its work, Minister Lindiwe Zulu said on Tuesday.

“We’ve got a national government position on that [e-tolls] but there is a process there,” she told a media briefing at the national SMME policy colloquium in Johannesburg.

“The panel is ongoing and everybody has got the right to go to that panel and make their presentations. We’ll wait for that process to go through.”

Business Day newspaper reported on Monday that the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) as well as the department of transport would make representations to the panel in November.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters told the newspaper that the department and Sanral would face the panel to “clear the distortions” about the electronic tolling of Gauteng highways.

The newspaper reported that Peters had previously said the panel did not have power over the national government.

In July, Gauteng Premier David Makhura commissioned the review panel, which has been tasked with assessing the socio-economic impact of e-tolls.

Since then, motorists and organisations have made submissions to the panel.

Chairman of the African National Congress in Gauteng, Paul Mashatile, told the panel that urban tolling would “kill the economy” and that the current system needed to be reviewed.

However, he encouraged users to continue to pay their e-toll accounts during the review process.

The panel is due to present its findings to Makhura at the end of November.

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Small business department stands by e-tolls