The end of e-tolls is around the corner. Finally. After months, nay, years of trying and failing to make the system profitable and worth the hassle, the time has come to officially say goodbye. The Gauteng provincial government has pledged R12.9 billion to aid the e-tolls decommission.
In a meeting with Sanral, Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi and finance minister Enoch Godongwana, a plan was hatched to repay Gauteng’s portion of the debt. It will raise the money through “different revenue streams in the form of a hybrid model”, which could take some time to fully realise, according to Lesufi.
The Gauteng government’s contribution of R12.9 billion is only a fraction of the total debt owed. A true reflection of the debt owed is close to R43 billion.
Taking an e-toll
Lesufi’s comments failed to explain what this ‘hybrid model’ could entail. He didn’t go into specifics with repayment timelines, only stating that it would be a long-term repayment. “A long-term repayment period will ensure that we relieve the pressure on the provincial government fiscus, whilst maintaining the delivery of social services and other imperatives such as fighting crime,” said Lesufi.
The aforementioned ‘hybrid model’ will first need to be organized after discussing it with the premier and Gauteng residents. The model would raise funds for the decommissioning of e-tolls and provide further funds to funnel into the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.
Gauteng government update on decommissioning of e-tolls pic.twitter.com/bxweJvdynk
— Gauteng Provincial Gov (@GautengProvince) November 22, 2022
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“The Premier needs to provide clarity about what exactly this new revenue model entails. Will it be a new provincial tax imposed on the already overburdened residents of Gauteng? We cannot afford to replace e-tolls with another form of taxation, the only way for the government to raise revenue.” Whew.
We can’t be too sure when exactly e-tolls will be gone entirely. And we can’t wholly believe the government’s idea that residents won’t be included in a provincial tax. But they’re on their way out. Soon.