Midrand – The Gauteng Advisory Panel on the Socio-economic Impact of E-tolls will kick off its month-long consultation process on Wednesday.

The consultation process will begin with organised labour in Midrand.

The process will solicit new views on the economic, social and environmental impacts of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) and e-tolls. It is aligned to research work that is already underway.

In considering the direct and indirect costs and benefits, the panel will focus on expanding knowledge as well as explore the implications and perceptions of financing the GFIP from the fiscus, taking into account other demands on the fiscus.

The panel also intends to expand public discussions on the GFIP and e-tolls.

Organisations have been invited to respond to the information provided by the key implementers of the GFIP and e-tolls, and to address the following questions:

  1. What are the economic and social impacts of GFIP and the e-tolls?
  2. What is the impact of the GFIP and e-tolls on the environment?
  3. How and where are the costs and benefits of GFIP and e-tolls
    distributed across society and the economy?

The panel has reiterated that the process of consultation on the impacts of GFIP and e-tolls is an objective process with no pre-determined outcome.

The Gauteng Provincial Government spokesperson, Thabo Masebe, said the report of the panel to the Premier at the end of November will be in the form of analysis and recommendations grounded in substantial evidence.

All the hearings will take place at the Gautrain offices – 44 Grand Central Boulevard, Grand Central Extension 1, Midrand, from 8:30a – 4pm.

On Thursday and Friday, the panel will hear representations from business, while it will hear representations of civil society from 1-3 September.

Consultation with information and knowledge institutions will be on 4 September, while transport organisations will make their presentations on 8- 9 September.

During this phase, the consultations are open to organisations only and will be followed by public meetings throughout Gauteng.

Masebe said political parties represented in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature will also be consulted.

Organisations still wishing to make a submission to the panel should submit a request in writing to the Secretary of the E-tolls Advisory Panel, 30 Simmonds Street, Johannesburg, 2107.