Scrapping of e-tolls to become reality soon, say MEC and premier

Gauteng Finance MEC Jacob Mamabolo. Picture: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency (ANA)

Gauteng Finance MEC Jacob Mamabolo. Picture: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 6, 2024


Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi and his finance MEC Jacob Mamabolo have confirmed that the issue of e-tolls is being resolved following talks to secure funds to settle e-toll debt and to address over R4 billion in maintenance backlogs.

Mamabolo made the revelation while delivering the provincial budget earlier this week, while Lesufi made this announcement via the X media platform on Tuesday.

E-toll debt is currently sitting at R47 billion. While the minister did not say outright that e-tolling was over, a statement from Lesufi following the announcement made it clear that the e-toll matter was finalised.

Last week, the DA and other political parties slammed Lesufi over his unclear stance of the scrapping of the e-toll system.

Mamabolo said the province is set to meet its target of ridding the province of the e-toll debt in order to start a new financial year on a clean footing.

“The premier has reaffirmed his position when he was delivering his SOPA that we need to get done by end of this month because we are ending the financial year. So, it is better to start the new financial year with a very clear way forward on the issue. We are demonstrating already that in the next financial year, we have pencilled in money for the first three years to start servicing and paying that obligation that the minister put to us of R12.9 billion,” Mamabolo said.

He added that the province is consulting with financial institutions to raise the money.

“We are engaging financial institutions. The fact is that already in our books we are saying, here is the expenditure that is going to flow in the direction of servicing the debt.”

Following the announcement by Mamabolo, Lesufi said the issue of e-tolls is the thing of the past.

“E-tolls dead and buried. Today through the MEC for treasury, Jacob Mamabolo we signed the obituary of e-tolls. Proud moment indeed. Less talk more work,” Lesufi said.

According to the document signed, the province will cover 30% of the e-toll debt while the national government is set to cover the 70% portion of the debt.

The MEC, who delivered his own budget on Tuesday, has indicated that the e-toll gantries will not be switched off.

“The gantry lights and cameras will remain on as they will continue to be operated for other law enforcement purposes but will no longer be used for e-toll collection,” Mamabolo said.

“With regards to the cancellation of the e-toll, 14 days after the publishing of the deregulation gazette, Gauteng road users will no longer be charged for the use of the Gauteng freeways,” he said.