The ultimate solution of the issue of e-tolling on the inner Gauteng highway network can only come from the national level. Initiatives such as the establishment of an advisory panel have not led to the resolution of concerns of Gauteng motorists regarding affordability, said Premier David Makhura in his State of the Province address in February. He said there will be no e-tolls on the province’s new roads.
Notable issues raised in the state of the province addresses in Mpumalanga, North West and Limpopo:
- In Mpumalanga, Premier David Mabuza said that the reconstruction of 16 provincial road projects totalling 284km was completed.
- In North West, Premier Supra Mahumapelo is raising the issue of toll fees on the Platinum Highway, including those at the Swartruggens Plaza, and said that public-private partnerships are being explored.
- In Limpopo, Premier Chupu Mathabatha said that over the next three years the provincial road agency will upgrade some 296km of gravel roads to asphalt.
In the state of the province addresses in the Western and Northern Cape roads received scant attention:
- Premier Helen Zille of the Western Cape said that major new housing developments will add pressure to transport infrastructure. Top of the list is the upgrading of informal settlements along the N2 near Cape Town International Airport, known as the Southern Corridor. Work has started in Forest Village and Ithemba and will expand into Gugulethu, Nyanga and Philippi in 2018.
- Premier Sylvia Lucas of the Northern Cape said that the main economic drivers are foreign investment in mining and energy. Inadequate road infrastructure will be addressed through the upgrading and resealing of some roads, mainly in the more rural areas.
In the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal state of the province addresses there were little references to roads:
- Premier Ace Magashule of the Free State stressed the need for building and upgrading of infrastructure. This not only improves access but creates jobs and transforms the economic landscape. He did point to the completion of some roads and noted new road works.
- Premier Willies Mchunu of KwaZulu-Natal pointed to the growth of the Dube Trade Port as a key to the economic growth in the province and noted that a feasibility study on the establishment of an oil and gas hub at Richards Bay will be completed later this year.