Transport Minister Blade Nzimande has hit back at those calling for a boycott of the loathed e-tolls system.
This latest warning from Nzimande was issued while addressing members of parliament on the severe issues facing Gauteng’s e-tolls. As reported by Lindsay Dentlinger for EWN, the minister, in an attempt to defend government’s position on the much-loathed tolling system, launched into a tirade which pointed to a political plot spearheaded by opposition parties.
E-tolls causing headaches for everyone
Nobody likes e-tolls. Well, that may not be entirely true – the only entity which may be fond of the e-tolling system, or rather the cash they receive from it, is Electronic Tolling Collections (ETC). For everybody else, motorists, government, opposition parties and parastatals, the e-tolls are big blue beacons of failure.
And while those in power mull over the future of the luminescent debt traps, which continue to drain state resources, while being, for the most part, completed ignored by motorists who have rejected government’s plea to pay, the Transport Minister is determined to make the ghastly gantries a success.
Yet, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has said some pretty contradictory things about the e-tolls. First, the party’s deputy chairperson in Gauteng, Panyaza Lesufi, argued that the e-tolls would be immediately terminated in accordance with the populist vote.
Blade Nzimande takes swipes at DA and EFF
Later, however, Lesufi was side-lined by Nzimande who retorted that there was no plan to scrap the e-tolls system, owing to the fact that government, in this case, represented by the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL), could simply not afford to pay the outstanding amount of R67 billion.
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In a strange twist of events, Nzimande recently steered away from the financial reports, and waded into a war of words targeting the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has enemies of the e-tolls.
The Transport Minister argued that the DA was telling Gauteng motorists to refrain from paying e-tolls, in the hope that this rhetoric would garner more votes for the party. Nzimande said that this strategy would fail, saying:
“We are going to moer you.”
Whether this was directed at the DA, or e-toll defaulters was not determined, but in the end, Nzimande, who was forced to withdraw his comments, explained that he was only using “township lingo”, and didn’t mean to offend anybody.
But the minister wasn’t done yet. He ended his address by calling the EFF a “fongkong” communist party.
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