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Zuma: 'Payways' are 'stayways'

2012-03-16 09:52

THE LIGHTS STAY ON: The ANC has quashed any hopes that the Gauteng 'payways' will go away.

Johannesburg - Jacob Zuma has quashed hopes that the Gauteng e-tolling system would be scrapped.

"The Gauteng economy cannot afford any impediment to traffic flow," the president said at a New Age and SABC business briefing in Port Elizabeth. "Such an impediment will stifle economic growth that leads to job creation."

The roads in general couldn't handle the load and, he added, and this had affected road users and economic development.

BEYOND CAPABILITIES

Tolling Gauteng's freeways - "payways", as they are becoming known - had been consulted on and accepted by the Cabinet.

Zuma said: "The rationale behind the freeways improvement project is that Gauteng, which generates nearly 38% of the total value of South Africa's economic activities, has developed beyond its infrastructural capabilities.

"The open tolling system will assist the government to obtain revenue to improve the road infrastructure, service debt already incurred for the upgraded Gauteng freeway network, and ensure a well-maintained and upgraded road network into the future."

He understood that it was an additional financial burden for people affected by poverty and unemployment but the infrastructure development would create jobs to help eradicate the burden.

"We plead for your understanding because, at the end of the day, we have to develop and strengthen the Gauteng road infrastructure."

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