The Gauteng Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo says that his department has put together a comprehensive plan to replace the controversial e-tolls scheme. In an interview with eNCA, MEC Mambolo said that the plan is based on proposals that have been properly modelled by technical experts.
“(The models) show that we can generate more money, outperform the current e-tolls financial targets, and protect the public purse. We submitted the models, and today we have not heard a word back (from national government). What we are hearing is Aarto trying to smuggle issues back.”
According to Mamabolo, the e-tolls scheme never performed financially and will not raise sufficient money going forward. He added that the system was incorrectly modelled from the start and that the national government failed to undertake a proper risk analysis.
“This was a heroic failure. People perhaps had good intentions, but what a dismal performance it turned out to be.”
In February, transport minister Fikile Mbalula confirmed that the department of transport is working towards a final answer on e-tolls.
“We are equally enjoined to finalise the funding and tariff structure on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) by the end of this financial year,” he said.
E-tolls have met with resistance from road users since inception in 2013, leading to non-payment by millions, and calls to scrap the system altogether. During October 2020, Minister Mbalula said that his department was being impeded from rolling out new road infrastructure projects because of a lack of resolution around e-tolls. He said that president Ramaphosa’s cabinet is set to finalise a new funding model for the project after receiving proposals from his department.