Govt, religious leaders agree on user-pay principal

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pretoria - Government and religious leaders have agreed on the user-pay principle for the development of road infrastructure.

"Government and the religious leaders agree on the user-pay principle for the development of road infrastructure," said a joint statement issued by the Presidency and the religious leaders.

On Tuesday, the Inter-Ministerial Committee of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP), led by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, met religious leaders under the banners of the South African Council of Churches (SACC) and the National Interfaith Council of SA and the National Religious Association for Social Development.

During their last round of consultations at the Union Buildings, the parties agreed that the e-toll system should be part of a mix of mechanisms to address the problem of congestion on the GFIP road network.

They were also of the same view that the system should be used to finance the construction of roads.

The religious leaders are satisfied that government has adequately addressed their concerns which were raised at an earlier meeting, said the statement.

Government and the religious leaders have committed themselves to communicate more frequently and to share information on matters that concern the public, including government's budgeting processes.

Deputy President Motlanthe has expressed confidence that a solution similar to the one reached with the leadership of the religious community will be reached with other concerned stakeholders.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee on GFIP comprises the Minister of Transport Ben Martins, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane, Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan, the Minister of Environmental and Water Affairs Edna Molewa, Deputy Minister of Transport Sindi Chikunga, Deputy Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene and the MEC of Roads and Transport in Gauteng Ismael Vadi.

The religious leaders' delegation was led by Rev Dr. Andre Bartlett and Rev Gift Moerane.