Gauteng government promises to switch off etolls this year, again

  • After nearly a decade, etolls in Gauteng may finally become a memory.
  • During his State of the Province Address, Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi said that etolls would be switched off and delinked starting 31st March 2024.
  • Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana is expected to provide more details during the Budget Speech on Wednesday.

On 13th December 2013, etolls were launched in Gauteng. The decision to charge Gauteng residents for the use of the national roads was met with anger and despite public outcry, etolls still exist today.

Despite several threats over the decade including preventing motorists from being able to renew their driver’s and vehicle licenses, Gautengers have widely rejected the concept of etolls and not paying the bill that arrives in the mail has become something of a badge of honour.

Now, over a decade after they were introduced, etolls will be scrapped. We know, government officials have used this line several times over the past few years, but with what the Minister of Finance said in 2022 combined with Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi’s most recent State of the Province Address, we’re inclined to believe that this may just be the end of the black light gantries on Gauteng highways.

“Etolls are a system that was introduced in our province by the national government on the basis that we wanted to improve our road network. We have now reached a stage where we all accept that the people of Gauteng have rejected etolls,” said Lesufi.

“When I addressed this house, I declared that etolls are history. We had a meeting with all affected parties. We held a meeting with the Minister of Finance, we also held a meeting with the Minister of Transport. All of us now have reached an agreement that by the 31st of March this year, the formal process to switch off and delink etolls will begin and etolls will be history in our province,” the premier elaborated.

Unfortunately, Lesufi didn’t provide any more information than that about the announcement. The Premier didn’t even give a deadline for when we can expect etolls to enter the “history” of the province.

At this stage then its unclear what motorists in Gauteng should expect, but Lesufi did say that Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana would provide more details during his 2024 budget speech. That speech is set to be delivered tomorrow, 21st February so we won’t have to wait too long for more information.

While Lesufi and pals have only now come to the realisation that motorists aren’t happy with the gantries, the data has been screaming that fact for most of the system’s existence. By July 2014, not even a year from the launch of etolls, unpaid tolls amounted to over R1 billion.

This nonpayment by motorists has prompted several reviews and investigations by provincial and national governments all seemingly leading to the same conclusion – etolls were a rubbish idea from the off.

We’re waiting to see what Godongwana says on Wednesday before we celebrate as talk of etolls being scrapped has often been used by politicians to curry favour. Whether this is just politicking ahead of the election remains to be seen but we should know more before the week ends.


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