Politics

Outa, EFF oppose Fikile Mbalula’s call for public to pay e-tolls

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The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) and the EFF have opposed transport minister Fikile Mbalula’s call for the public to pay e-tolls.

At a briefing on the aviation industry on Thursday, after planes were grounded earlier this week, Mbalula urged motorists to pay for the use of roads.

“Across our system we have found that the user-pays principle is direct, targeted, fairer and extremely efficient,” Mbalula said.

The lack of proper communication on e-tolls, for instance, may have played a role in the slow take-up by road users, Mbalula said.

However, Outa said the reality was that 80% of motorists were not paying e-toll bills, with the rest keeping the system on life support.

Outa CEO Wayne Duvenage said Mbalula was behind the deadline that President Cyril Ramaphosa gave him to find a solution to the matter.

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“Make the easy decision, minister, pull the plug. E-tolls is not the financing mechanism for road infrastructure upgrades in our cities,” Duvenage said.

The EFF said the ANC government had promised Gauteng people on several occasions, such as during the 2016 local government elections, that it would do away with e-tolls.

“Yet its national ministers always contradict this, stating that paying e-tolls is government policy,” the EFF said.

The party said premier David Makhura made several empty promises that he would scrap the system, only to distance himself from his commitments after realising he had no jurisdiction in the matter.

“The e-tolls must be boycotted until government finds a solution other than making ordinary citizens pay.

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“The people already pay for water, electricity and ever-increasing petrol prices. Why must government impose on them another tariff that came out of the greed and corrupt interests of politicians. E-tolls must fall,” the party’s spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, said.

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