Gauteng Seeks Long-Term E-Toll Payment Agreement Amid Fiscal Concerns

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Gauteng’s Finance MEC, Jacob Mamabolo, has announced the province’s intention to engage with the national government in pursuit of a long-term agreement for e-toll payments. The looming R13 billion debt associated with e-tolls poses a significant risk to Gauteng’s fiscal stability.

Mamabolo underscored the urgency of finding a resolution, proposing that an agreement with the national government could involve repurposing e-toll gantries for crime prevention measures. This dual-purpose approach aims to address both the financial burden and contribute to public safety.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) previously asserted that there was no justification for delaying the scrapping of e-tolls. Despite Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s mid-term budget announcement to abolish e-tolls, there remains a lack of consensus between the Gauteng government and National Treasury on finalizing the deactivation of the e-toll system.

Under the proposed plan outlined by Godongwana, the national government would absorb 70% of the e-toll debt, leaving the remaining 30% to be managed by the provincial government. The absence of a concrete agreement raises concerns about the timeline for implementing the decision and the potential impact on Gauteng’s financial resources.

As discussions unfold between provincial and national authorities, the future of the e-toll system and its associated financial implications for Gauteng remain central to ongoing deliberations. The province seeks a sustainable solution that balances fiscal responsibility with the need for effective transportation infrastructure and crime prevention measures.

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