Lesufi misled Gauteng Residents for the longest time: Ramokgopa

Rise Mzansi Vuyiswa Ramokgopa Gauteng Premier candidate

Rise Mzansi Vuyiswa Ramokgopa Gauteng Premier candidate

Published Feb 28, 2024


Rise Mzansi premier candidate Vuyiswa Ramokgopa has accused Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi of ‘feeding Gauteng residents lies’.

In her penned letter to Lesufi, Ramokgopa said the premier’s government has repeatedly failed the people of Gauteng.

“Twice in a row, in your State of the Province Address (SOPA), you fed residents lies about your intention to scrap the burdensome e-tolling system. Yet, year after year, Gauteng residents are left grappling with the same expensive and unwanted scheme.

“Your government has mastered the art of giving false hope, by presenting e-tolls as a solution for road infrastructure development while ignoring the undeniable decay of our roads. It has become clear that e-tolls serve only to line the pockets of the corrupt at the expense of hardworking Gauteng residents.

“The hypocrisy of your government knows no bounds,” Ramokgopa said in a scathing letter to Lesufi.

She said despite his hollow promises, the National Treasury had repeatedly refuted claims that Gauteng government had met the requirements for the scrapping of e-tolls.

Ramokgopa said the unsettling misalignment between Provincial and National structures was indicative of a dishonest government.

“A government that knowingly lies to its residents, all in order to win votes. Enough is enough. As residents of this province, we refuse to be deceived any longer.

“We demand transparency and accountability. You must be held accountable for your deceitful tactics. We call upon you to make public all correspondence between the Gauteng Provincial Government and the National Treasury regarding e-tolls. It is time for the truth to be exposed and for the people of Gauteng to see through the facade of your government.”

Ramokgopa’s letter comes amid the decision by Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) to take the provincial government to court over the e-tolls matter.

OUTA CEO Wayne Duvenage said they have been against the e-tolls since September 2010, and again raised its discontent on December 3 2013.

Duvenage said among OUTA’s main reasons for opposing the scheme was the lack of public engagement and its excessive costs of administration.

He further said many Gauteng motorists were made to believe the improvements to Gauteng freeways were budgeted for under the infrastructure improvement costs related to hosting the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.

“OUTA believes the freeway construction improvements were supposed to cost between R6 billion and R7 billion, yet ended up costing the taxpayers R17.9 billion, due largely to gross maladministration and corruption. SANRAL and government have their own lack of transparency and poor public engagement to blame for the lack of support for e-tolls,” Duvenage said.