Lesufi says residents will be consulted on how Gauteng’s 30% portion of Sanral’s e-toll debt will be paid

E-Toll gantrys on the N1 through Johannesburg. Picture Jeffrey Abrahams

E-Toll gantrys on the N1 through Johannesburg. Picture Jeffrey Abrahams

Published Nov 4, 2022


Johannesburg - Premier Panyaza Lesufi says they will consult widely with Gauteng residents, the Transport Ministry and the National Treasury before a decision is taken on how the provincial portion of Sanral’s e-Toll debt will be funded.

Lesufi held a media briefing on Friday to address the plans of the provisional government to raise money to cover 30% of Sanral’s debt. National government will cover 70% of the debt, Finance minister Enoch Godongwana announced during his mid-term budget speech in October.

"We are going to consult the people of Gauteng, we reject the notion that people will suffer in order for us to pay the 30%.

“No you will not suffer. Other budgets will also not be affected as a result of this," said Lesufi.

He said the provincial government agreed to contribute 30% in settling the debt, and on Thursday night, they convened an emergency provincial cabinet meeting to go through the implications of the decision.

The premier said that although Gauteng had agreed to cover part of the debt, it still had to meet with Godongwana and Transport minister Fikile Mbalula in order to understand exactly how much the Gauteng government and residents had to cough up as part of the 30% Sanral debt.

The provincial executive would use the meeting with Mbalula and Godongwana as an opportunity to get clarity on other aspects such as what the maintenance which was mentioned by the finance minister referred to, given that the proposals sent by provincial government mainly focused on the debt.

Further, clarity on what would happen with the e-Toll gantries was required as there were people who had been paying these and they needed clarity too.

“It is important to understand what becomes the process of now de-registering e-Tolls or finally, legally removing e-Tolls,” said Lesufi.

The cabinet has also resolved to appoint three task teams, a cabinet sub-committee, and an exco sub-committee to look into the where the money to cover Sanral’s debt would come from, how to re-purpose the country’s entire infrastructure and utilise it to assist the provincial government, and also to provide technical expertise and support.