'E-tolls are not part of the way forward': Gauteng transport MEC firm on stance to scrap e-tolls

Gauteng transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo said his department remained "firm" in its support for the scrapping of e-tolls.
Gauteng transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo said his department remained "firm" in its support for the scrapping of e-tolls.
Image: SUNDAY TIMES/SIMON MATHEUBLA

Gauteng transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo said his department remained “firm” in its call for the scrapping of e-tolls.

“E-tolls have not generated enough revenue to fund new and maintain existing roads. They are a burden on the fiscus,” said Mamabolo, delivering his budget vote speech on Friday.

He said e-tolls violated the user-pay principle, as other people from other provinces pass through them without paying.

“We reaffirm our position without fear, favour and doubt that e-tolls are part of the way forward in this province and should be scrapped,” he said.

Mamabolo on Friday also announced the appointment of a CFO, deputy director-general of roads and deputy director-general of transport services.

“It is for the first time since 2016 that these positions were all filled.

“As part of building smart institutions, we have committed to improve our driving licence testing centres (DLTCs).

“In the short term, we identified alleged acts of corruption as manipulating and interfering with the online booking system. We committed to appoint a forensic investigating team to crack this corrupt practice and improve the availability of booking slots.”

The transport department, Mamabolo said, would soon finalise the procurement process for the appointment of the K46 (William Nicol) contractor to improve and enhance “smart mobility” along the Diepsloot and Stein City areas.

“I am pleased to announce that just in the last two weeks, a contractor has been appointed. The contractor has assured us that they will establish and take site in mid-July. This is a major development for us,” he said.

Mamabolo also announced the expansion of the Gautrain to the townships.

“We are hard at work to ensure that we fully comply with the requirements of the PPP [public-private partnership] transaction and source investor funding to expand this state-of-the-art game changer

“We are very proud of the leadership and best standard by the Gautrain team to curb greenhouse gas emissions. In line with our commitment to addressing climate change, we will be ensuring that more people park their cars and ride the Gautrain,” he said.

According to Mamabolo, the department has also appointed 536 military veterans to support Covid-19 pupil transport compliance in schools.

“We are confident that our military veterans will provide protection and security to learners during this difficult period of Covid-19,” he said.

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