The government has moved to quell speculation about an increase in the fuel levy to fund the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) as a result of the failure of the e-tolls system.
Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula said on Wednesday he has noted with concern the speculation being peddled by the Automobile Association (AA) and the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) about a possible increase in the fuel levy to cover the GFIP bonds.
Read Moneyweb’s story on Outa’s concerns here.
“It must be made categorically clear that government has not made any pronouncements on this matter.
“We therefore appeal to all stakeholders to desist from rumour mongering that is intended to create anxiety among motorists,” he said.
Mbalula added that he has engaged with the AA and Outa to discuss matters of mutual interest and he remains committed to constructive dialogue that assists in resolving challenges.
However, Mbalula said there is no reason to be alarmist on possible pronouncements on the government’s decision on the funding of the GFIP.
“I urge everyone to await the formal pronouncements and not engage in speculation that offers no solution to our challenges,” he said.
Mbalula’s comments follow Outa expressing concern on Tuesday that the government may hijack the consumer benefits of an expected reduction in fuel prices and use them to pay for the GFIP.
Outa CEO Wayne Duvenage said on Tuesday the organisation is concerned that Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana may seize the opportunity of the expected petrol price reduction in the first week of September to increase the fuel levy by 25c to 30c per litre to raise additional revenue to cover the GFIP bonds, which the e-toll debacle has failed to do.