E-tolls: Parks Tau must declare intergovernmental dispute

By John Moodey MPL, DA Gauteng Provincial Leader:

The DA challenges Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau to put the people of Johannesburg before the ANC’s selfish interests, and declare an intergovernmental dispute over the implementation of e-tolls to end them in Johannesburg once and for all.

Yesterday Gauteng finance MEC Barbara Creecy announced a subsidy to the new e-tolls dispensation to the tune of R123 million, but this is nothing more than government bailing out government to keep collection company ETC afloat.

If ever there was an indication that e-tolls have failed – this is it. When Provincial government has to bail e-tolls out, because the scheme has been roundly rejected, the writing is truly on the wall that the scheme must go.

In June this year, Mayor Tau made it clear that he would not consent to the further tolling of municipal roads, but he has the power and authority to switch off the 18 e-toll gantries in his jurisdiction by successfully disputing the scheme with National Government.

All the mayor needs to do, is side with the people of Johannesburg and declare an intergovernmental dispute over the continued implementation of e-tolls, and have those gantries switched off.

The question is whether the mayor will, unlike President Zuma, put the people before the ANC.

E-tolls are slowly strangling Johannesburg’s economy, preventing people from finding jobs, and are a burden to motorists and business alike, and now a bail out of the e-toll scheme shows that it cannot survive.

When the DA takes over Johannesburg next year, removing e-tolls and their devastating impact on our city’s economy will be the very first item on our to-do list.

The DA will always put the needs of the people first.

Parks Tau must act to end e-tolls once and for all.