Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, delivered his first Budget Speech on Wednesday, in which he lamented the culture of non-payment of basic services in South Africa.
“We need to build a strong culture of payment in our country. Collecting the revenue due to the state is the underlying foundation of our democracy, of building a nation, and it is our duty to pay for services – especially if we can afford to do so.”
South Africa’s culture of non-payment is particularly evident in Gauteng, where road infrastructure upgrades from phase one of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP), have still not been paid for.
The non-payment of e-tolls has had massive implications for SANRAL and Electronic Toll Collection (ETC), which is mandated to collect funds vie e-tolling on behalf of SANRAL to pay for the multiphase infrastructure project.
Furthermore, 15 key road infrastructure projects worth over R15 billion, including phase two and three of the GFIP, remain on hold due to funding shortfalls. These SANRAL projects are critical to stimulating economic growth in South Africa and are massive boosts for productivity and job creation.
Mr Mboweni also announced in is speech that existing fuel levies are to increase another 29c per litre in the case of petrol and 30c a litre in the case of diesel. ETC believes the fuel levy is not a suitable, fair or equitable funding method for GFIP, as it impacts the poor more than it does anyone else.
ETC is left encouraged by the Minister’s stance on the user pays principle, a principle which underpins e-tolling. “The user pays principle is a principle that should be upheld,” he said.
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