Tue, 31 Mar 2020

President Cyril Ramaphosa will soon make an announcement on a lasting solution for Gauteng's e-toll system, Gauteng Premier David Makhura said on Tuesday.

Makhura delivered his State of the Province Address (SOPA) at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in Ga-Rankuwa in Tshwane.

He said the executive council had made strong and persuasive arguments to national government on 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" he added.

READ | Makhura seeks alternative energy sources to ease Gauteng's load shedding headache

Last year, Makhura said the Gauteng government was willing to help settle billions of rands of e-toll debt. The debt was one of the key reasons why Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has opposed the scrapping of the system, saying it would cause further stress on the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral).

In 2018, Sanral collected R5.6bn less than budgeted, partly due to the government's lack of clarity on e-tolls, Fin24 reported.

In August 2019, Treasury's Deputy Director General, Dr Mampho Modise, reported to Parliament that the roads agency struggled to raise the R20.6bn budgeted e-toll revenue.

During his budget vote debate in Parliament, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said government was aware of the overwhelming demand that the project be scrapped, but that debt obligations complicated the situation.

He said options being considered would include the feasibility of a mechanism through which the debt incurred in the construction of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project could be paid.

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