Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has vowed to provide a final decision on the future of e-tolls by the end of the year.
His commitment has, however, met with scepticism from motorists because it’s been somewhat of a moving target. In May he told the National Council of Provinces that the saga would be resolved within two weeks. Five months later and no resolution.
He said at the time that talks were under way with Treasury and that the process would soon be wrapped up.
His views were somewhat at odds with those of Transport MEC, Jacob Mamabolo, who said at the time that e-tolls had been scrapped – a statement that was quickly retracted in a Twitter post which said that an announcement would be made ‘soon’.
Not surprising then that motorists are not holding their breath.
In an interview this morning with Radio 702’s Bongani Bingwa, Mbalula maintained that he had never said e-tolls were here to stay and had wanted the decision to be taken some time ago.
“The delay,” he said, “is between us and Treasury because all options we looked at have implications – even scrapping has implications - for the economy and for Sanral and the future of how and where we will get the financial capability to build roads.”
He said the new finance minister was likely to make an announcement in his medium-term Budget.