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ANC pleased with government's stance on tolls

The African National Congress on Monday said it was pleased that the Gauteng government had taken note of motorists' dissatisfaction with the e-tolling system.

"To this end, we are particularly pleased that the Gauteng provincial government has listened to the people of the province when they said the current system of e-tolls was undesirable and unworkable," provincial secretary Hope Papo said in a statement.

He was responding to premier David Makhura's state-of-the-province address earlier, during which Makhura promised "major financial relief" to motorists.

"The provincial government is part of the current consultation process... to develop a better dispensation which will mitigate the negative impact of the e-tolls on the people of Gauteng, especially the middle and lower income groups," Makhura said in a speech prepared for delivery in the legislature in Johannesburg.

"I am confident that the new dispensation should provide major financial relief to motorists, while simplifying the payment system to make it easy for road users to pay," he said.

Papo said he hoped the dispensation would come with solutions.

"We trust that the new dispensation alluded to by the premier will finally put this matter to rest by delivering a solution that is equitable, affordable, administratively simple and sustainable," he said.

The ANC welcomed Makhura's speech, claiming that the speech indicated the various government departments had plans for the entire province.

"In the address, comrade Makhura presented visionary, bold and decisive interventions to move the Gauteng city region forward," said Papo.

Papo said Makhura's emphasis on radical transformation showed that the ANC understood the people's challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality, and that he was taking action.

Government also committed to improving infrastructure, investing in bettering townships and small businesses.

Makhura's address, however, saw numerous interruptions from the Economic Freedom Fighters.

The ANC described the incidents as "unfortunate".

"As the ANC, we condemn in the strongest possible terms the attempted disruption of the premier's speech by a small number of EFF MPLs who have nothing of substance to say and offer the people of Gauteng," said Papo.

According to reports, EFF MPLs laughed out loud, and called for "points of order". One of them reportedly called Makhura a liar.

"We call upon the legislature to further strengthen its rules to prevent such backward tendencies in the future," said Papo.


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