South African Minister Halts New Toll Gates

Pretoria - Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has ordered the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) to halt all processes linked to the new toll gate system on the country's major roads.

According to a statement by the department, Ndebele is of the view that consultative processes should be allowed to take place to offer concerned parties an opportunity to share their views on the toll road programme.

"While he believes that the country requires good road infrastructure to meet its economic growth targets, the minister says this shouldn't put a huge financial burden on the shoulders of consumers," said the department.

While the first phase of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Plan has delivered good road infrastructure, it was an expensive exercise that has drawn sharp views from the public.

"All spheres of government should be part of a consultative process with all affected parties, consumers in the main. Good infrastructure is a necessity for a better future for our country, but this requirement must not leave our people even poorer," said Ndebele.

Cabinet recently appointed a Task Team that includes Ndebele and the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan to look into the issue of toll roads.

Ndebele said all these processes, including a consultative processes initiated by the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, should be allowed to reach their logical conclusions to ensure that all parties concerned and their respective views are brought on board.

- BuaNews