New SA transport minister Dipuo Peters (CC image courtesy of GovernmentZA on Flickr)
Peters succeeded Ben Martins - who has taken the energy portfolio - as transport minister as part of President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle yesterday, which also called time on Dina Pule’s stint at the Department of Communications (DoC).
The DA and OUTA both called on Peters to rethink the e-tolling strategy, which has caused controversy and lead to protests on South Africa’s roads.
DA provincial leader John Moodey said in a statement Peters’ immediate predecessors, Martins and Sbu Ndebele, had pushed through the e-tolling plans despite public concern, and Peters should take a different approach.
“The Democratic Alliance in Gauteng calls on the new transport minister… to ditch the controversial e-tolling… minister Peters must take this opportunity and heed the public outcry and warning signs around the unworkable project,” Moodey said.
He said he planned to write to Peters today to request a review of the e-tolls and address the lack of transparency around the project.
OUTA agreed that Peters should reverse the unpopular policy of her predecessors.
“We trust that Minister Peters will have the principles of efficiency and ‘best outcomes for society’ on her agenda, in which case, we also hope to see a possible change of heart and a new strategy in relation to the -tolls matter,” OUTA said in a statement.
“OUTA believes it is not too late to halt the current e-toll plans for Gauteng and thereby seek a solution to the challenges of road funding which will be in the best interests of citizens, business and the country as a whole. The current e-toll plan does not have the required support of society for it to succeed. To simply forge ahead will do more harm than good and OUTA would welcome constructive engagement in this regard from the Minister.”