December 3, 2021

You are going to pay for e-tolls whether they are scrapped or not: minister

Finance minister Enoch Godogwana will make an announcement on the way forward for e-tolls in his February 2022 finances, says transport minister Fikile Mbalula.

In an handle on Friday (26 November), Mbalula mentioned {that a} choice on the controversial tolling scheme has been delayed due to an incapability to finalise consultations between his division and Treasury, and Cupboard.

He defined that no matter what choice the federal government takes on e-tolls – together with whether to scrap or maintain the scheme – there could be a monetary price concerned.

Mbalula pointed to current discussions with the federal government’s collectors who’ve made it clear that e-tolls will want to paid for in some type. Whether e-tolls are saved in place or scrapped, they want to be paid for all the identical, and a call has to be taken, he mentioned.

Heavy burden

The South African Nationwide Roads Company’s (Sanral’s) monetary outcomes revealed in October 2021 present that the Covid-19 lockdown had a major influence on toll income, with a budgeted lack of R570 million between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021.

Notably, Sanral mentioned that the Gauteng Freeway Enchancment Challenge (GFIP) confirmed a income downturn of 31.5%.

“This project is the only Sanral toll route that receives a government grant to offset the discounts on tariffs instituted in response to public opposition to tolling on Gauteng freeways,” it mentioned.

In 2020/21, this grant amounted to greater than R2.7 billion, which incorporates R2.3 billion that the minister of transport, as Sanral’s sole shareholder, authorized as a switch from non-toll to toll operations to scale back the anticipated shortfall in assortment of income, the group mentioned.

Sanral’s chief govt Skhumbuzo Macozoma has repeatedly known as on the federal government to decide on e-tolls.

“Chunk the bullet and achieve this. There may be not going to be a solution that’s not going to have an effect on South Africans within the pocket, together with cancellation.

“Cancellation, in fact, is the most expensive of the options that are on the table. So it’s a complex decision, but it must be made. It’s not assisting that we (Sanral) don’t have a decision,” he mentioned.

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