Cape Town - Decisions taken on the Gauteng Freeway
Improvement Project (GFIP) will have implications for how future infrastructure
projects are financed, Minister of Performance Monitoring and
Evaluation Collins Chabane said on Friday.
It was necessary to guard against decisions and actions that
might impact negatively "on our track record in the prudent management of
government finances", he told reporters after cabinet's regular
Chabane was speaking in Pretoria, and the briefing was relayed via a
video link to Cape Town.
He said the government has to act responsibly, and ensure it
and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) honour their financial obligations
"Government must also ensure that nothing compromises
the huge infrastructure programme which is crucial for raising the level of
South Africa's economic growth, and for raising the standard of living of
citizens, especially the poor and unemployed."
Chabane said the government understood the concerns and
issues raised by South Africans regarding e-tolling. This was why it had gone
some way to provide relief to motorists by making R5.75bn available to the SA
National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral).
Cabinet had appointed a special committee to be chaired by
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to co-ordinate all work around the GFIP.
Committee members included the ministers of transport, finance, public
enterprises, Chabane himself, and the director general in the presidency.
The committee would, among other things, move rapidly to
ensure Sanral's financial stability was not affected in any way.
"The committee will assess government's response to the
North Gauteng (Pretoria) High Court ruling and other related matters."
It would also meet appropriate stakeholders to find constructive
solutions and consensus on the outstanding matters.
"Government would also like to reiterate that the R20bn
investment in the GFIP which started in 2007 will benefit the residents and the
economy of Gauteng, which is the major driver of national economic
activity," Chabane said.