Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (AN)
Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (AN)

E-tolls will soon be behind us, says SACP's Solly Mapaila

By Ntombi Nkosi Time of article published Oct 13, 2021

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Johannesburg - The SACP says the controversy surrounding e-tolls will soon be history.

SACP first deputy secretary-general Solly Mapaila on Tuesday said the party had previously indicated that if e-tolls inconvenienced motorists, they should not be imposed on them.

“I understand that there is a process in the government to resolve the e-tolls issue. I think that there are two principles related to the issue of the user pay system and how to deal with the issue of e-tolls. Quite soon this matter will be resolved, it will be past us,” said Mapaila.

He was speaking during the SACP’s election campaign trail in ward 10, Tembisa. His presence in the area is part of the pledge the SACP made to its alliance partner, the ANC, that it would help it lobby for votes before the local government elections next month.

Mapaila’s comments on e-tolls come after the South African National Roads Agency Limited indicated that the revenue collection on e-tolls had dwindled, with the Department of Transport indicating that the systems was not likely to be scrapped.

Meanwhile, Mapaila while on the trail had to intervene in a bid to help residents in the area obtain urgent services, including addressing ID book shortages, dilapidated sewerage systems and unemployment.

One of the residents who sought assistance from Mapaila was Philemon Molefe, 56.

Molefe has been declared dead by the Home Affairs Department and has been struggling to get a job.

“They said I died in 1994. I was told that my relative used my ID, but I am not sure how. This has affected me badly, I can’t get employment and no access to my provident fund although I once worked as an operator. I stopped working in 1998. All these years I have had no access to services or voted since I don't have an ID. I am desperate to get an ID,” said Molefe.

According to the father of three, he is not married to the mothers of his children, so they have birth certificates.

Speaking to the media along the campaign trail Mapaila said: “We have had a very good reception, but critical engagement with the people. In the community it’s general issues like services and unemployment, particularly among the youth, and an absence of councillors that we are going to address. We were with a councillor candidate who was able to hear people’s concerns.”

Mapaila said Molefe’s story was very difficult.

“We took his matter through the regional office, and because I was here directly I shared the information with (Home Affairs Minister Aaron) Motsoaledi. The guy is alive, he has got his certificate but surprisingly he also has a death certificate. This is an issue that we hope the minister and his team will be able to resolve as soon as possible,” he said.

Another resident, Themba Simelane from Endayeni, at first told Mapaila that he would not vote although he owned an RDP house.

“Why should I vote while I am unemployed? I have an RDP house which is in a bad state, and I have not been helped since I applied for indigent care. I am a father of three, my children are not receiving grants,” said Simelane.

However Mapaila urged Simelane to vote, and to vote for the ANC, saying that he was accompanied by ward councillor candidate Pusetso Petlele, who had listened to his plight and promised that his problems would be resolved soon.

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Political Bureau

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