The Democratic Alliance (DA) has welcomed Gauteng Premier David Makhura's admission that e-tolling has failed and that he will be meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa to devise a more suitable funding model.
The DA's Gauteng spokesperson on roads and transport, Fred Nel, said the party had been at the forefront in the battle against e-tolling.
"The premier admitted that e-tolls place a burden on citizens of the province, which echoes the DA's long-sustained view of the system," said Nel.
On Monday, during his State of the Province Address, Makhura admitted that e-tolls had not worked.
"It is loud and clear for all to see that e-tolls have not worked," he said.
"Accordingly, I will engage President Ramaphosa in order to find a new and more equitable funding model to support the continued expansion of Gauteng's road network and public transport system. Please send me!" he said, repeating Ramaphosa's mantra which he lifted from the late Hugh Masekela's song, Thuma Mina.
Nel said that given the increase in the fuel levy, the increase in VAT, as well as the knock-on effect e-tolls had on consumers, the perpetuation of this system would be the death knell for the poor and middle class, who were the hardest hit by continued and sustained tax hikes.
"The Premier must ensure that the President scraps e-tolls once and for all, and not try to pass off another watered-down version of the e-toll system which he and President Ramaphosa foisted on Gauteng road users in 2015."
Nel said it was vital that an alternative funding mechanism for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project be found.
"If this situation is not addressed as a matter of urgency, gridlocked roads will severely impact the economy of the province."
Nel said that residents of Gauteng deserved a government that had their best interests at heart.
"A total change in government, come 2019, is what is needed to offer respite to those who have had to bear the brunt of ANC mismanagement and poor governance."
He said the party would keep Makhura accountable and ensure that he followed through with his promise to settle the e-tolling issue.