Ramaphosa instructed Cabinet members to toe line on e-tolls – Lesufi

Gauteng MEC says President committed to scrapping the system

Ramaphosa instructed Cabinet members to toe line on e-tolls - Lesufi

7 May 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on dissenting voices within his current Cabinet to toe the line when it comes to the e-tolls system.

Gauteng ANC chairperson Panyaza Lesufi spoke about Ramaphosa's thoughts on the matter as he cast his vote at Thuto ka Maatla Comprehensive School in Thembisa on Tuesday.

He said that Ramaphosa was committed to scrapping the system and to addressing the problems that Gauteng residents had with the system.

The contentious e-toll system has been one of the central points of debate during this election campaign in the province. The DA's Solly Msimanga has promised to expedite the scrapping of the system, claiming that the ANC has been dragging its feet.

The ANC's own leadership has been at odds in finding a solution to the issue. The Gauteng ANC, led by party chairperson David Makhura, has been advocating for the dissolution of the system. However, in March, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said he was unhappy with the Sanral board's decision to temporarily suspend summonses to recover e-toll debt, and that this should be reversed "immediately".

Fin24 reported that Mboweni had told a media briefing in Cape Town that the decision would present a financial difficulty for Sanral, adding that the board's decision was careless.

Small Business Minister Lindiwe Zulu has reportedly come out against the scrapping of e-tolls. Lesufi, however, denied that the party was at odds over the issue, saying Ramaphosa had ensured that everyone was "now speaking with one voice".

He added that the president had formed a task team to address the issue. "There is only one voice now. Every minister, everyone, has been called to order.

"The current form of e-tolls, they are not good for South Africans, they are not good for Gauteng on a basis of cost of living."

He added that the decision not to issue summonses and statements to drivers signalled progress that "the current e-tolls, in the current format, they have no future in South Africa".

Turning to the recent poll projections released by the South African Institute of Race Relations, which predicted that KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng would be hung provinces, Lesufi said the party had no confidence in the poll results.

"We have taken this province from almost 7.4 million citizens to almost 15 million citizens. We have created jobs to 8 million. There is no reason for people to doubt the ANC. I really feel it's boredom of political analysts that want to create something that excites and push people to the polls."