Public input on effects of e-tolls begins

Johannesburg - Public consultations on the socio-economic impact of the e-tolls will begin on Wednesday.

The advisory panel would focus on expanding knowledge as well as explore the implications and perceptions of financing the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) and e-tolls.

On Monday, the Gauteng provincial government announced that the panel would embark from 27 August on a month-long process of consultation with organisations and individuals.

"The consultation process is aligned to the research work which is already underway. The consultation will solicit new views on the economic, social and environmental impacts of the GFIP and e-tolls," spokesperson Thabo Masebe had said.

Organisations were invited to respond to the information provided by the key implementers of GFIP and e-tolls, and to address the following questions: - What are the economic and social impacts of GFIP and the e-tolls? - What is the impact of the GFIP and e-tolls on the environment? - How and where are the costs and benefits of GFIP and e-tolls distributed across society and the economy?

Masebe said the panel emphasised that the process of consultation was an objective process with no pre-determined outcome.

The panel was expected to report to premier David Makhura at the end of November, by providing analysis and recommendations grounded in substantial evidence.

The hearings would take place at the Gautrain offices in Midrand.

Labour would be heard on 27 August, business on 27 and 29 August, and civil society from 1 to 3 September.

Information and knowledge institutions would be heard on 4 September, and transport organisations from 4 September.