OUTA feels vindicated by the many positive elements contained within Premier Makhura’s e-toll Panel report, but raises as many concerns for a number of statements made therein. Furthermore, OUTA’s vindication has been heightened by the support expressed during the workshops, by the vast majority of people and organisations present at the consultation on Friday in Midrand.
We have understanding for the awkward position the Gauteng Provincial Government now faces, having to fix a problem that was handed to them by the National Executive. We are however concerned that the compromise ‘hybrid model’ as suggested in the report is a cure worse than the disease.
The suggestions contained in the Hybrid funding proposals have significant unintended consequences and high costs to motorists, if these were to be implemented. The biggest problem is the Panel’s suggestion to hold onto the ill-conceived and failed e-Toll scheme, as the main funding mechanism. At the same time, even though the suggestion of a national funding model falls outside the Gauteng Provincial Government’s jurisdiction, the panel has downplayed the suggestion of full funding of the GFIP bonds from the national fiscus and / or the fuel levy.
All in all, we commend the Premier for a comprehensive job thus far, but whether he recommends the proposals therein, which largely seeks to concentrate the costs of the freeway upgrade to the Gauteng residents, remains to be seen. We believe these are national roads which run through a provincial region and have an impact at a national level.