Proposal to scrap e-tolls or entice motorists with 70% discount - report

Government is mulling over what to do about e-tolls in Gauteng, File photo.
Government is mulling over what to do about e-tolls in Gauteng, File photo.

Gauteng’s e-tolls could either be scrapped altogether or motorists offered a 70% discount on the current fees.

These were two proposals – out of seven – that would to be put forward to Cabinet by a task team established by President Cyril Ramaphosa to find a solution to the e-tolls saga in the province, City Press reported on Sunday.

Discussion documents in possession of the publication indicated that offering a discount under the user-pays scenario may lead to increased compliance by motorists – many of whom are refusing to pay.

The second option would see government paying on behalf of motorists “by means of a tax levy”. While this scenario would ensure Sanral could service its debt, it could compromise the application of the user-pays principle in other parts of the country.

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has granted a two-week extension for submissions on the future of e-tolls, the SABC reported on Sunday.

Mbalula was due to hand a report on the future of e-tolls to Ramaphosa on Sunday. But he wants more time to consult with interested parties.

He met with the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse and Automobile Association on Wednesday. Outa CEO Wayne Duvenage said Mbalula's approach had been refreshing.

“There have been seven [transport] ministers since the e-tolls [began] ... This is the first time we're engaging with a minister who is keen to get our input and digest it. So we're quite buoyed by that.

“We believe that had this similar approach been taken several years ago, we would have found a solution,” he said.

The DA said in a statement on Sunday that it had "reliably learnt" that the ANC in Gauteng wanted to raise income tax to pay for e-tolls.

"This is unacceptable and will place further strain on our already overburdened residents, who are already struggling with the high cost of living," said the party. 

- TimesLIVE 

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