PARTY

ANC welcomes suspension of Gauteng tolls

Ruling party commends Minister Ndebele's bold and progressive action

NDEBELE SETS GOOD EXAMPLE IN DEALING WITH GAUTENG TOLL OUTCRY - ANC

The African National Congress (ANC) commends the bold and progressive step by Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele for suspending the toll tariffs on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project until further consultation with all key role players, with the aim of reviewing the toll fee structure.

We are equally impressed by the articulation by the Minister and his department to the effect that South Africans have expressed their views on the tolling of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project and that the Department of Transport has "been listening to these views and decided to further engage on this matter".

The setting up of a task team, representative of all role players, including the Gauteng provincial government, to explore various options to reduce the impact of the cost on road users, is now set to take on board all views and concerns by the public.

We fully share sentiments expressed by Minister Ndebele and Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, that while there is a need to boost transport infrastructure, it should not be done at the expense of the public or impacting severely on the cost of doing business in Gauteng or anywhere else in South Africa. We, indeed, are in agreement with the assertion by both our national and provincial governments that the improvement of our road infrastructure should not be a burden to those it is supposed to benefit - the road users.

The positive reaction by Comrade Sbu Ndebele to the public outcry over the introduction of toll tariffs in Gauteng, sets a good example of how an ANC cadre should deal with matters that impact on the people by listening to their concerns and acting in a manner that takes people's interests above everything else.

The latest stance by Comrade Ndebele on the Gauteng toll tariffs issue, should now put to rest any public urge to stage protests against the Department of Transport's Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project. To do so now, would amount to jumping the gun as the inclusion of all affected parties has made the process representative of all views.

Statement issued by Jackson Mthembu, African National Congress National Spokesperson, February 23 2011

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