Strategic move: Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe. Picture: Gallo Images
Cabinet on Friday announced the appointment of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe as chair of a new committee to co-ordinate and lead government response to a High court decision on Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project- e-toll.
"Cabinet appointed a committee to be chaired by Deputy President to co-ordinate all work around the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP).
"This committee will among other things move with urgency to ensure that SANRAL’s financial stability is not affected in any way. The committee will assess the government’s response to the North Gauteng High Court ruling" Cabinet Spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said on Friday.
Members of the committee include ministers of Transport, Finance, Public Enterprises, Presidency: Performance Monitoring and Evaluation and the DG in the Presidency.
The announcement is likely to boost public and business confidence given SANRAL's failures to communicate decisions on the matter.
Deputy President Motlanthe has natural political charisma with strong background in labour movements, therefore both labour and concerned groups are most likely to listen to him as chair of the committee.
As tasked by cabinet, the deputy president will face a huge challenge in coming up with "constructive solutions and consensus" given the legal standing and the route that the e-tolling system has travelled.
On Friday, government reiterated its long standing view that the R20bn investment in the GFIP which started in 2007 will eventually benefit the residents and the economy of Gauteng, which is a major driver of national economic activity.
Cabinet also urged the public and commentators to think ahead and put the country's future at heart.
This intervention led by the Deputy President Motlanthe is largely viewed as an attempt to also ensure that nothing disturbs government long term plans on infrastructure.