Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has called on those tasked with resolving the e-toll saga to take the matter seriously.
The minister forms part of a presidential task team formed to find a solution to the debacle, which has seen public defiance of the e-tolling system.
“We know that there are robust views that come from the treasury in terms of the fiscus and the debt that we owe. We know there are views in relation to our borrowing capacity and the bond market,” he said.
“A report will be tabled before him[the president] and from there will be given to the Cabinet,” he explained.
Mbalula promised to have a solution to the e-tolling matter by August this year.
This follows a public spat between Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and Gauteng Premier, David Makhura on twitter, which led to President Cyril Ramaphosa rebuking the two.
Mbalula said that although government acknowledged the overwhelming opposition to e-tolls in Gauteng, the economic burden they carry cannot be ignored.
Mbalula said the question remained: where will the money come from?
“The society is not prepared to listen – it is e-tolls no more. Gauteng government comes in – e-tolls no more. We’ve got to interrogate if no more, then where would the money come from to service the debt because the debt is not going to go away? Those are the realities.”
The e-tolling project by South African National Road Agency Limited (Sanral) has failed to garner any profit, leading to its long struggle with rising debt levels as the public continues to boycott the system.
Mbalula said it was now the government’s turn to respond and that the president’s August deadline to deliver a solution to the e-tolls problem would be met.