E-tolls was supposed to be solved a month ago – but ‘Mr Fix” has just moved the deadline again
- Solutions for the unpopular e-tolls system of open-highway tolling Gauteng were supposed to be presented to President Cyril Ramaphosa by the end of August.
- In September the deadline was extended by two weeks.
- It has just been pushed out again – and department of transport won't say when it might be completed.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has missed another deadline to submit a final report to President Cyril Ramaphosa on how to solve the contentious, politically-fraught issue of Gauteng's e-toll system.
Instead Mbalula, who calls himself “Mr Fix” on Twitter, said the process to find solutions can not be rushed.
Ramaphosa in July mandated Gauteng premier David Makhura, finance minister Tito Mboweni, and Mbalula to give him possible solutions for the unpopular toll system off open-highway tolling by the end of August.
At the time, Mbalula said one month would be enough to finish a report into the matter – which has been dragging on for over eight years.
Mbalula said e-tolls cannot be discussed “year after year”, and a solution had to be found, The Citizen reported at the time.
In September, the deadline was extended by another two weeks to allow for more consultation.
When contacted by Business Insider South Africa this week, the department of transport said the deadline was extended after stakeholders - who met with Mbalula - requested more time to consult with their own members.
The department would not speculate when the final report might now be completed.
Mbalula said the e-toll matter remains a top priority and is being attended to on an urgent basis.
“This is a complex and sensitive matter of national importance, it should not be subjected to mechanical procedures and timetables,” Mbalula said in a statement the department provided in answer to questions.
“All ideas and options must be thoroughly ventilated and carefully considered in order for the best possible solution to be found”.
He said the report would only be handed to Ramaphosa once all key stakeholders have been duly consulted and the state has finalised its intra-governmental consultation.
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