Gauteng ANC dismayed by e-toll stance

THE ANC in Gauteng yesterday expressed disappointment at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s stance regarding the controversial e-tolls on Gauteng’s freeways.

“We really must say to you, Mr President, that we are deeply disappointed at the fact that your speech [the State of the Nation Address] said nothing about scrapping of e-tolls,” ANC Gauteng secretary Jacob Khawe said in an open letter addressed to Ramaphosa.

“The e-tolls have not worked in our province and the overwhelming majority of Gauteng motorists continue to refuse to pay,” Khawe wrote.

“This, coupled with regular increases in fuel costs, drives up the cost of doing business and disproportionately diminishes the disposable incomes of both the middle strata and poor households,” Khawe added.

At its recently held provincial executive committee lekgotla, the Gauteng structure committed to once again engage Ramaphosa and government departments “on the ideas and strategies we have developed on alternative funding and proposals for the payment of the debt being owed”, Khawe said.

In November last year Gauteng premier and provincial ANC chairperson David Makhura said e-tolls had “no future” as long as the ANC remained in charge of the province.

“The e-tolls have no future in the plans of this province as long as the ANC is in charge.

“The e-tolls can only have a future in this Gauteng if the ANC is not in charge,” Makhura said at the time.

Makhura led thousands of ANC members – marching with the Congress of SA Trade Unions, the SA Communist Party, civic society organisations such as the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa), and members of the public – to the Union Buildings demanding that e-tolls be scrapped.

He said the majority of people who drove past the e-tolls daily were working class and middle class South Africans.

Makhura, who is at the end of his first term as premier of Gauteng, will deliver his State of the Province Address in Ekurhuleni today.

In an interview with Pretoria News sister newspaper, the Sunday Independent, he expressed confidence that he had fulfilled the promises he made when he first took over the administration of the province.

He said the ANC had a duty to build a governance model that is financially sound, intolerant of corruption, incompetence and arrogant officials.

He has come under attack by former Tshwane mayor and DA candidate for the premiership, Solly Msimanaga, who said that under Makhura, the Auditor-General had identified more than R20billion of irregular, unauthorised, and wasteful expenditure.

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