Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s comments on e-tolls are proof that under ANC administration, the gantries will not be scrapped, the DA said on Saturday.
Earlier this week, Gauteng Premier David Makhura, in his State of the Province Address said that e-tolls had no future in the province.
However, in a series of tweets, Mboweni made in clear that e-tolls were going nowhere.
On Friday, Fin24 reported that Mboweni was on his way to Kigali, Rwanda when he tweeted: “I don’t know why the middle and upper classes in Gauteng want to complicate our lives. The working class do not pay e-tolls!! Public transport! Hello…”
Mboweni tweeted that Makhura should not “pick a fight” with the finance minister who is in charge of provincial allocation.
“I am certain that the premier of Gauteng knows that you have to be careful before you pick up a fight with a national minister of finance. The one who controls allocations! I would be careful if I were him,” he said.
Makhura, however, hit back.
I have referred the e-tolls matter to President@CyrilRamaphosa for final resolution; My engagements him and Minister @MbalulaFikile have been positive. Minister @tito_mboweni can continue to tweet as he cooks; he is a Minister, not the President. #NoTurningBack
— David Makhura (@David_Makhura) July 5, 2019
In a statement on Saturday, DA Gauteng Caucus Leader Solly Msimanga said the minister’s “Twitter outburst” was evidence that under the ANC, e-tolls are here to stay.
“Taking to Twitter, Mboweni lambasted Makhura, stating that the unjust user-pay system on Gauteng’s freeways will not be removed under his watch,” Msimanga said.
“It is Minister Mboweni, not Premier Makhura, who pulls the country’s purse strings and has the final say on how taxes are raised.
“Mboweni’s utterances that the people who cannot afford the e-tolls don’t pay because public transport is exempt from the system… shows how far removed the ANC are from the lived experience of the vast majority of Gauteng’s residents.”
Msimanga added that if the e-toll gantries are still operational by August, they will take steps to declare an inter-governmental dispute to have the system set aside.
“No longer can the people of Gauteng be hoodwinked by the ANC’s double standards on e-tolls.
“We will not stand by while the people of Gauteng continue to suffer under ANC factionalism and double-speak.”
Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development Tasneem Motara also weighed in. Mboweni retweeted her tweet.
I just got a call from @tito_mboweni Min of Finance. We had a good back and forth on the E-Toll issue. He stubbornly stands by his position, and well so do we as the PEC. He has agreed to wait for the invite to the PEC meeting where we will enlighten each other @David_Makhura
— #RotiQueen (@TasneemMotara) July 5, 2019