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Makhura still hopeful about scrapping e-tolls in Gauteng

Gauteng Premier David Makhura. File picture.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura. File picture.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura is not giving up on scrapping e-tolls in the province, despite finance minister Tito Mboweni proclaiming that the user-pay principle is here to stay.

The cabinet said on Thursday that more consultation was needed before a final decision could be taken on the future of e-tolls - a decision Makhura said he had noted.

“I note the directive of cabinet. As Gauteng ... we believe we have presented a comprehensive set of proposals with sound and well-researched options that will receive widespread support among various stakeholders in our province,” Makhura said in a statement.

The premier has long been opposed to e-tolls, insisting that the controversial freeway funding model has "no future in Gauteng”.

“The premier and the executive council look forward to further engagements with the two ministers on the options we have presented to the task team. We do believe that a sustainable solution that will resolve the current stalemate is within reach,” Makhura’s spokesperson, Vuyo Mhaga, said in a statement.

But Mboweni made it clear in his medium term budget speech in parliament on Wednesday that road users were still expected to pay.

“People must appreciate the service provided, and just like they go to Pick 'n Pay to buy bread, they will pay for the use of this service,” he told journalists ahead of his speech on Wednesday, TimesLIVE reported.

President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed a task team four months ago to find a solution to the controversial system.

A deadline of August was missed and more consultation was considered necessary.

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