Using fuel levy to pay for e-tolls would have affected poor | Fin24
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Using fuel levy to pay for e-tolls would have affected poor

Jul 09 2015 17:23
Mpho Raborife, News24

Johannesburg - Had the government used the fuel levy to finance road construction, even the country's poorest would have had to pay for e-tolls through fuel price related increases, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday.

"I used to believe, like you, we could use the fuel levy to finance our roads' construction," Ramaphosa told a hall full of South African Communist Party delegates who had gathered at the University of Johannesburg's Soweto campus for a special national congress.

"But, with time, I came to realise, if you use that you are going to keep on increasing the fuel levy to finance the construction of the roads and as you increase the fuel levy, the fuel levy increases for everyone.

"So as the fuel levy increases, the fuel price goes up... and through that even the poorer people in our country get affected by the higher fees and higher tariffs."

Ramaphosa was responding to Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini who had earlier called for the e-tolls to be completely scrapped.

Dlamini had previously told the congress and Ramaphosa: “Let's engage with you [deputy president on] how we should scrap them. We are not agreeing. We will continue to engage on this matter in the streets, in the boardroom, in the [ANC]."

An invited guest to the congress, Ramaphosa told the hundreds gathered in the hall the government had had "robust" debates with Cosatu about the e-toll issue and the transport system as a whole.

"The issue of transport needs to be reconfigured in South Africa so we can provide cheap transport for all our people... It is not acceptable that many of our people spend up to 40/50/60% of their salaries on transport."

He said government wanted to protect its people and rather than having them being at the mercy of price increases based on the fuel price, the latest approach to manage the payment structure of e-tolls was "actually shielding them".

"The way the e-toll process has been reconfigured now shields those people. People travelling in buses, people travelling in taxis do not have to pay e-toll fees."

cosatu  |  anc  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  johannesburg  |  tolls


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