Gauteng premier says e-tolls will come
GAUTENG premier Nomvula Mokonyane insists that the controversial e-tolling of the province's highways will eventually be implemented despite resistance from motorists and the broader public.
Mokonyane told journalists during a media briefing in Johannesburg yesterday that her government was working on a pay-per-user model that would be acceptable to all affected parties.
The province spent R20-billion to improve the roads and instal gantries. It must now recoup the money through a pay-per-user principle, Mokonyane said.
Last month a group of business people operating in the transport sector and calling themselves the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) successfully stalled the implementation of e-tolling in the province following a ruling by the Pretoria High Court.
Outa hopes to convince the courts that e-tolling is not the most effective way of funding the multi-billion rand Gauteng Freeway Improvement Plan.
"The matter is before the courts and a task team led by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe. Gauteng transport MEC Ismail Vadi is also a member [of the task team]. The pay-per-user principle remains our political will to roll out the programme. I do not subscribe to the notion that solutions can be found through the courts," she said.
Mokonyane and Vadi also made a pronouncement on the long-awaited integrated public transport system.
They said it might see commuters using one ticketing system on different public transport modes.
Mokonyane said the fact that the province had three metro councils, all with individual departments, made it difficult because each council kept its information without sharing it with others.
Vadi said: "Getting technical integration is a key issue for an integrated transport system. When a commuter swipes his card in one transport mode, it needs to be clear as to which mode the money is going to. It is about the banking system."
He added that the country needed good technocrats for successful implementation of a public transport system.