It’s a question of who would win the debate for the banning of e-tolls on Gauteng highways because the ruling ANC and the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the province sing the same tune – e-tolls must go.
DA Gauteng premier candidate Solly Msimanga took on premier David Makhura and the ANC over the continued existence of the Gauteng Highway Improvement System, or e-tolls.
Msimanga, as part of his Listening Tour, said it had become more evident that the electorate had become disillusioned with the “failing” ANC.
“One of the reasons is the e-tolling system that has been implemented without consulting the broader public in Gauteng.
“As we head towards the 2019 general elections, e-tolls have once again reared its ugly head and become a topic of widespread discussion,” Msimanga said.
“What has become clear is that Gauteng residents do not have the means to pay e-tolls due to the rising cost of living, which has been exacerbated by the recent increase in VAT.
“The people … have been taxed and burdened by years of economic mismanagement by the current government,” he said.
The DA attack appeared to mirror the ANC anti-e-toll campaign, led by Makhura.
Makhura said the system was unworkable, unsustainable, a burden on the poor and must be stopped.
Recently, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said e-tolls would not be banned and asked those who owed money to pay.
But the ANC Gauteng vowed to carry on with its campaign and Makhura said they would ensure the system was stopped.
Msimanga said, as during 2014 and 2016, the ANC government will once again use e-tolls as an electioneering tool to try and win back the votes lost during the last local government election.
“Most importantly, it was the failing ANC that conceived e-tolls, created e-tolls, constructed e-tolls and continues to charge people for this unwanted system.
“This system is literally taking thousands of rands from people’s pockets, from businesses and from people oppressed by poverty, every day. through a failing ANC government programme,” said Msimanga.
“What is worse is that [Mboweni] has clearly endorsed e-tolls while you in Gauteng are singing a different tune, for the sake of votes.”