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Gauteng 2021/22 budget: Blocking the renewal of motor vehicle licences due to outstanding e-toll fees could result in a fiscal implosion for Gauteng

The FF Plus is convinced that blocking the renewal of motor vehicle licences due to outstanding e-toll fees could result in a fiscal implosion for Gauteng.

The FF Plus is justifiably sceptical about the provincial ANC government's plans to increase revenue for its Covid-19 economic turn-around plan, which was announced today during the tabling of the province's 2021/22 budget.

The ANC government's plan to increase revenue relies heavily on generating more income through, among other things, motor vehicle licences. It, however, fails to take into account the proposed AARTO regulations that may in the future result in the renewal of motor vehicle licences being blocked if the vehicle owners have any outstanding e-toll fees.

Seeing as most road users have been boycotting the e-toll system for years, the blocking of vehicle licences will take on epic proportions and as a result, the renewal of motor vehicle licences will decrease and the projected revenue of the provincial government will dwindle accordingly.

There is no doubt that the Gauteng provincial government must urgently endeavour to put an end to the e-toll system seeing as it poses the risk of possible fiscal collapse.

The province's other streams of income, such as gambling taxes, patient fees and interest earned on treasury investments, will not make up for the loss.

In addition, the provincial government does not have much constitutional leeway to expand rates and taxes and, thus, it will be dependent on the national government for support. The National Treasury has, unfortunately, already admitted that it has run out of money.

Therefore, the FF Plus will put pressure on the Gauteng ANC government to declare a dispute with the national government in terms of the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act. Should the dispute not be successful, the FF Plus will demand that the provincial government must approach the court so as to put an end to the e-toll system.

Thus far, the Gauteng ANC government's pleas to the national government have all fallen on deaf ears.

Given the fact that Gauteng's Gross Domestic Product declined with R80,9 billion in 2020 – with devastating economic consequences, such as unemployment, famine and other related social problems – the e-toll system will drive the last nail into the coffin for Gauteng's economy.

The road ahead requires the provincial ANC government to abolish the e-toll system, which is eating away at the transport routes of Gauteng like cancer; to establish an aid fund, in conjunction with large corporations in the private sector, to help save smaller businesses, regardless of skin colour; to negotiate greater freedom for Special Economic Zones in the form of tax incentives and less restrictive labour regulations and to eradicate corruption, roots and all.

It appears as if the ANC in the province is entirely oblivious to the fact that it is walking into an economic depression in a revolutionary environment.

On behalf of all the people of Gauteng, the FF Plus will keep fighting to save the province from this.

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