This isn’t the news Gauteng motorists will want to start the week with. But the powers that be in the province are understood to be seeking a ‘new revenue model’, which – according to some critics – will create an additional road tax for millions of vehicle owners.
Last week, the recently-appointed Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi announced that he tasked finance MEC Jacob Mamabolo to come up with a new revenue model – so that the debt burden incurred to build the e-Toll roads can be removed from SANRAL.
However, this doesn’t mean that e-Tolls would be completely scrapped. The creation of a new road tax would essentially mean that loans taken on by SANRAL would be repaid through a specifically-designed avenue. Needless to say, the DA is staunchly opposed to such measures.
The party has argued that money should rather be taken from the fuel levies across Gauteng, which have the potential to raise the sorely-needed billions that have gone to waste on these controversial gantries. However, this doesn’t appear to be an option for the ruling ANC government.
Fred Nel is the region’s Shadow MEC for Roads and Transport. He has laid the Lesufi/Mamabolo strategy bare, and the DA representative is telling all Gauteng motorists to prepare for another hit to their finances.
“The only way a new revenue model to repay the loans can be devised is either through the introduction of a new tax or the increase of an existing tax, like vehicle license fees. The concept of a ‘new revenue model’ must not be confused with the scrapping of e-Tolls.”
“Gauteng motorists can, therefore, expect the introduction of a new or increased tax to pay for e-Tolls. New sources of funding will have to be found to cover debts taken over from SANRAL.” | Fred Nel