Well, the minister of transport Fikile “Mr Fix It” Mbalula has since gone back on his words, this time citing ‘department did not want to “drown” the country in debt and must find a funding solution for the Gauteng e-tolls’.
Mbalula was responding to a written question by the Democratic Alliance (DA)’s Chris Hunsinger, who asked the minister for a date on which he would finally make an announcement on the future of e-tolls.
He was also asked what the delay was in making the announcement for the e-tolls that were completed in 2011.
For Mbalula and his team at the department this issue has become a daily headache in that there’s no way forward, as promises seem to not hold on the wall.
On the other hand, the Cabinet has rejected a funding proposal by the Transport and Finance departments.
In his response Mbalula said that the department tabled various funding options around the e-tolls for a Cabinet decision.
But after consideration of the options, Cabinet directed that both the Transport Department and Treasury re-look at the options and re-submit to Cabinet for consideration.
The minister said that the date for the announcement on the future of e-tolls in Gauteng could not be determined at this stage as discussions around funding for the system continued to take place.
He said that the department was committed to finding a workable solution that did not “drown” the country in debt but was equally sensitive to the public’s concerns.
OUTA- Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) is watching this mess unfold like an eagle, so is Cosatu, an ANC alliance partner, who oppose this new law that could see defaulting e-toll users fined heavily.
They’ve been vocal about their opposition to e-tolling in Gauteng.
So, “Mr Fix It” where to from here?