The Gauteng government is confident that e-tolls are on their way out and expects a “major announcement” from President Cyril Ramaphosa soon.
In recent years many organisations, including the ANC in Gauteng, Cosatu, and the SACP, have called for e-tolls to be scrapped.
In his 2020 State of the Province Address, Gauteng Premier David Makhura said they have made a strong and persuasive case to the national government on withdrawing e-tolls.
“I have been assured by President Cyril Ramaphosa that a lasting solution has been found and an announcement by the President is imminent,” Makhura said.
Gauteng roads and transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo has now reiterated this view, saying he is waiting for a ground-breaking announcement to be made regarding e-tolls.
“From where we stand, we are convinced that we will get a positive response because of the powerful case we have put forward,” said Mamabolo.
E-toll management contract renewed
Mamabolo’s comments came after it was announced that the Electronic Tolling Company’s (ETC’s) e-toll management contract was extended, however.
ETC is a South African company which is wholly-owned by the Austrian firm that built the e-tolling system in South Africa.
Moneyweb has reported that the e-toll management contract for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) was extended by Sanral until the end of the year.
This contract extension comes despite declining compliance rates and growing unhappiness with the system.
The latest news on the possible scrapping of e-tolls follows Sanral’s integrated report for the year ended 31 March 2019 showing it had disregarded over R1.84 billion in outstanding e-toll fees.
This action was taken due to Sanral’s assessment of how much money it could reasonably expect to make from motorists who have rejected the failed toll system.
The company’s revenue from e-tolls on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project declined by 63% to R687.7 million in the period, compared to R1.87 billion the year before.