Cosatu won’t back down on e-tolls

2012-05-31 14:18

Cosatu is set to “go back to the streets” if e-tolls aren’t scrapped, the labour federation’s general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said today.

He also said a 14 cents levy should be added to the petrol price while a long-term solution to funding Gauteng’s freeways is thrashed out.

Vavi told journalists at a press conference earlier today following a meeting by its central executive committee that it would “maintain the pressure (on government) for alternative funding models”.

In March Cosatu embarked on a strike and march which involved thousands of people.

Vavi also slammed government’s description of the “agreement” the ANC and Cosatu reached at the end of March to postpone the e-tolls to look at alternative funding models as a mere “recommendation”.

He said the ANC was the “governing party” and the most important player in government, and not a mere non-governmental organisation (NGO), which “can only recommend”.

“The ANC says it is the strategic political centre. When we engage it, we engage the strategic centre of power, not only an NGO,” he said.

Vavi said the 1996 growth plan, Gear, was implemented because “the logo of the ANC became smaller, and the government logo bigger”.

He said bureaucrats in government should not be allowed to control policy.

Vavi said government was “wasting time running to courts over this matter”.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe earlier said government still believed in the user pay principle, and would continue with its appeal against an order to postpone the implementation of e-tolls indefinitely.

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