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Government back-tracks on Tito Mboweni’s e-toll comments

A final decision on e-tolls will be taken in two weeks – Transport Minister.
The government has back-tracked on comments made by finance minister Tito Mboweni on the future of e-tolls and stressed a decision on the controversial system will only be taken by Cabinet in the next two weeks.
 
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula confirmed this late on Thursday that government had decided to retain the the user pay principle. This follows Mboweni’s disclosure in his medium term budget policy statement (MTBPS) speech on Wednesday, in reference to the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP).
 
He said while there would be a further dispensation and value-added services, compliance would also be strengthened.
 
However, Mbalula said he wanted to state on record that Cabinet has not yet arrived at a decision on the future of the GFIP.
 
He said the proposals for GFIP, in particular the preferred reconfigured approach, were tabled with Cabinet on Wednesday.
Cabinet deliberated on these proposals and decided the task team must go back, do some more work and report back in two weeks when Cabinet reconvened, he added.
 
“It is only then that we will then debate and present to South Africa what would have been a decision of Cabinet on the future of GFIP.”
 
Mbalula said the principle of user pay as articulated by Mboweni in the MTBPS must not be blown out of proportion.
 
He stressed it was a principle that was implemented globally and the South African government “is no exception to that”.
 
Mbalula also stressed that the task team was not working on a scheme to implement e-tolls in terms of the current scheme.
 
“We are talking about a reconfigured approach – whether that reconfigured approach entails non-payment. That is what we are actually looking [at] and what are the implications for the country,” he said.
 
Mbalula said more than seven proposals on the e-toll scheme are being considered.
 
He said the first and most popular option is one that looks into the cancellation of the e-toll scheme and the withdrawal of declaration for GFIP phase one road work.
 
Mbalula said this option involves government taking full responsibility for the debt servicing obligation of the scheme but questioned where government must the find money for it.
 
The other options are a partial shadow toll, which is a scheme where government’s subsidy contribution is less than 100%; selling the GFIP to a private concessionaire; the introduction of a public transport fund that would prioritise public transport; a hybrid funding model comprising a combination of taxes such as a fuel levy and licences to subsidise toll fees; a further dispensation and physical toll plaza installations; and to implement the e-toll scheme as it was intended.
 
Mbalula said in all the engagements with the task team, nobody had told them not to use the user pay principle.
 
“The user pay principle is what underpins any service that government renders to society.
 
“They agree that we need to entrench the principle of user pay, because if we don’t it means we will not pay for everything around us. The question of a Father Christmas bucket has actually not worked since 1994,” he said.
 
Mbalula said the total unpaid toll fees would peak at R67 billion and require an annual allocation of R2 billion from government to service the 30-year repayment period for the outstanding debt, after government had also written off all outstanding toll debts.
 
He said the preferred option would take into consideration the interests of society and what is in the best interests of the country.
 
It would also consider the state of the economy in relation to the commitments made in the bond market and the capacity for government to borrow and to continue to borrow to upgrade the country’s roads, because of the skyrocketing debt as a result of non payment.
 
Wayne Duvenage, chief executive of the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa), said after the MTBPS it’s worried by government’s determination to cling to the myth that the e-toll scheme is an efficient user-pay financial solution to settle the freeway upgrade bonds – when it is a failed user-pay scheme, it is not efficient, and it is fraught with corruption.
 
 
Duvenage said Outa is uncertain how the government will enforce greater compliance when there are still outstanding court cases related to the implementation of e-tolls, adding Outa has no intention of giving in on the e-tolls issue.
 
“The test case that has been developed over the past two years has been abandoned, or placed on hold for the past eight months by Sanral. The court case is in the way and it has to happen.
 
“I don’t know what has to happen to get it into the brain of government that you cannot run a country against the will of the people.”
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FU All – we wont pay e Tolls until all the municipalities pay for electricity and stop water pollution – and yes I know this will not happen in my lifetime!!!!!

South Africans must unite in numbers to get rid of this cancer called ANC sick Government- period

Most businesses have one spokesperson to ensure that consistent messages are put out to stakeholders.

Our government behaves like a headless chicken. No one can take them seriously, including investors.

If this guy asked me for a job, I do believe I would have a hard time finding a suitable position for him………………………..

Give him a pair of boxing gloves and tell him to pick the fly turds out of the pepper in the lunchroom.

Ha ha. The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. The story of ANC politics.

More like the right-hand is looting and doesn’t know what the left hand is doing because the left hand is too busy thieving.

No. Actually the Left hand does not acknowledge the Right hand. Right is not acceptable.

Sheesh, ANC, wake up and smell the coffee. What makes you think you can EVER turn the whole etolls thing around now? All South Africans realise that the system was originally based on a fraudulent deal with an overseas company that was PROVEN to have paid bribes. And then deceitfully sold to SA under the guise of a requirement for the Soccer World Cup. ANC, you have tried everything to date: the stick, the carrot and NOTHING has ever worked. All your efforts have done is to further entrench non-compliance. SO WAKE UP, YOU USELESS ANC. YOU HAVE MANGED TO WRECK A ONCE-PROSPEROUS COUNTRY, AND WE WON’T BOW TO YOUR DEMANDS WHEN YOUR OWN MINISTERS ARE LOOTING OUR PRECIOUS COUNTRY AND THUS ROBBING THE POOR RIGHT NOW.

if nothing is the result you want from an enquiry – then Fikile Mbalula is definitely the right guy for the job – he was tasked with sorting this mess out and did what JZ used to do, he just waited until the deadline went whooshing by and now someone else will make the decision. this government may not have invented incompetence but they are going to great lengths mastering the art.

These people have no idea what they are doing. Simple.In any aspect whatsoever.

“The government has back-tracked on comments made by finance minister Tito Mboweni on the future of e-tolls and stressed a decision on the controversial system will only be taken by Cabinet in the next two weeks.”

Two,three centers of power.

The ANC has been prevaricating this since the clown show started. Expect the worst because one thing is for sure, the ANC will not be paying back the Kapsch bribe.

Confusing and mind boggling – YES and YES. What do these guys smoke?

The bit I find most humorous (kind of in a sad / sick way) is the following –

“He said the first and most popular option is one that looks into the cancellation of the e-toll scheme ….”

and then the cherry –

“Mbalula said this option involves government taking full responsibility for the debt servicing obligation of the scheme but questioned where government must the find money for it.”

So some help is needed for our esteemed Transport Minister. First tip of the day – in this instance PLEASE do the bright thing and take the popular route (this is definitely a time where the populous has it right). Second tip of the day – Govt WILL find the money by stopping the piglets at the trough in their feeding frenzy (that has gone on for oh so long). Prosecute, lock them up and follow the ‘pay back the money’ principle. Start with the lifestyle audits that have been promised.

So dear Minister, life is really not that complicated now is it?

“The user pay principle is what underpins any service that government renders to society”

No, really that’s not how it works. We don’t pay extra for police, firefighters, government health care, military, oh and ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE. It’s taken out of these things called “taxes”. You know, those things you collect from people every pay day and as VAT on items. Oh and on levies and import duties and fuel levies.

”While SANRAL welcomes any caution from the DA’s Ian Ollis about the Portugal experience, reaching the conclusion that e-tolling in Gauteng will go the route of Portugal is preposterous, especially when one has not been exposed to the two different systems used in both countries,” concludes Mona.

Remember this gem? 2013

Std procedure for the ANC when financial issues are up for debate:

“Um, yes!”,
“Eish, no!”, then,

“How! I don’t know?”
“Let’s see what tomorrow brings, but for now it’s lunch time!”
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…..???

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