PARLIAMENT, November 8 – Transport Minister Blade Nzimande on Wednesday warned opposition party members of Parliament (MPs) to not use the much-despised e-tolls in Gauteng as a political football, adding the ruling party would “thoroughly [beat] moer you in the elections next year”.
Nzimande was responding to questions in National Assembly about contradictory messages coming from government, with Finance Minister Tito Mboweni in his medium term budget policy statement indicating the user pay principles would remain in place and Gauteng Premier David Makhura insisting government should scrap e-tolls.
Nzimande said while government was looking at alternatives to e-tolls, the current situation in which the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) had incurred massive debts to build highways, meant road users had to pay for using freeways.
“In hindsight, maybe this thing should have been done differently but we are where we are now and we have got debt. This thing was introduced in broad daylight… and we have to collect tolls to maintain and run these beautiful roads.”
When asked by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) why government did not repudiate the debt, Nzimande accused the party of engaging whether government could repudiate the debt, Nzimande accused the opposition politics of using e-tolls as a way of gaining votes ahead of next year’s general elections.
“Let’s be grownup…let’s not engage in trick politics or populism because you hope you gonna win votes next year. We gonna thoroughly [beat] moer you in the elections next year.”
The minister was forced to withdraw his comment as it contained an expletive considered unparliamentary language. (ANA)