The ANC in Gauteng says it is satisfied with the way government has handled the e-tolling saga but believes alternative ways to settle the debt for road infrastructure in the province should be explored.
The issue of e-tolls came up, with the recent announcement that the Constitutional Court will decide in August if it will allow government to appeal an earlier decision to halt the implementation of e-tolling.
Nkenke Kekana, spokesperson for the Gauteng ANC: “Government has to find money, and it must find it somewhere. That is why we said in the short-term, we also need to consider the petrol levy to try to address the debt problem that Sanral [the South African National Roads Agency Limited] is facing at the moment.”
In 2007, Sanral took out an estimated R29-billion loan for road infrastructure.
The North Gauteng High Court granted an urgent interdict to halt the Gauteng e-tolling project in April, pending the outcome of a full legal review.
Opposition To Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) applied for the interdict. But Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan appealed to the Constitutional Court to uplift the interdict last month. Gordhan said halting the project could soon affect the economy negatively.
Government also worried that its credit rating could take a dive if it fails to repay the loan taken out to improve roads.
The launching of the project was postponed four times before the urgent interdict was granted.
If implemented, e-tolling will see Gauteng motorists pay up to 35c/km to use some of the province's highways.