ETC: Scrapping of e-tolls will have immense economic consequences

ETC: Scrapping of e-tolls will have immense economic consequences

Electronic Toll Collections (ETC) has warned that the scrapping of e-tolls could prove detrimental to the economy.

JMK/Wikimedia Commons

This after Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula hinted that the government could do away with the unpopular system.


The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) implemented the system in 2013, but motorists in Gauteng have long resisted the project, leaving it with billions in unpaid debt.


"I think the first thing is to understand is that if you do scrap e-tolls, the knock-on effect on the economy and the fiscal of the South African economy will be really immense. I mean we are really then facing the risk of a rating downgrade and that will make it more expensive to raise money. We are stearing down the barrel of total economic disaster if we do not find ways to get these projects off the ground," says ETC's Coenie Vermaak.


Mbalula is under immense pressure from various quarters, including his own party, to take decisive action.


In an interview with the SABC on Tuesday, Mbalula emphasized the need to consult with unions and other parties before a decision is made.


"On my side I really welcome the minister's proactive engagement on this matter.


"What I read in minister's speech or in his statement is that he's saying: ‘Yes, we have to find solutions. Yes, we need to engage with all stakeholders and if the solution is that we do scrap it we still need to deal with historic debt’. So I think what he's asking for, he's asking for some real solutions. He's not necessarily on a one-sided way saying there will be scrapping of e-tolls, he's saying we need to do it in a responsible ways as responsible citizens," adds Vermaak.


Vermaak says the establishment of a working forum might go a long way in resolving the matter.

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