Ignore minister’s call to buy e-tags – Cosatu

2012-10-03 13:50

Motorists in Gauteng should disregard Transport Minister Ben Martins’ call to buy e-tags, Cosatu has said.

It has also threatened further mass action should e-tolling go ahead.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said in a statement this afternoon that Cosatu was shocked at reports that Martins earlier this week urged motorists to start buying e-tags for the e-tolling system.

Craven said “Cosatu and the vast majority of the people of Gauteng are totally opposed to the imposition of these tolls”.

He also said Martins jumped the gun because a joint task team by the labour federation and the ANC are still investigating alternative funding models for the road improvements.

Cosatu is also yet to meet with Deputy Transport Minister Sindi Chikunga “to discuss whether the tolls will be implemented or not” while a court review of the e-tolling system is to take place in November.

“How can the minister therefore possibly justify urging people to spend money on a system which is still the subject of consultation and review, and will in all probability be rejected by the people of the province?” Craven said.

The Constitutional Court last week lifted an interdict on the e-tolling system’s implementation, but it is yet to review the merits of the system.

Craven, however, said the announcement by Martins implied that the consultations and court review “are mere formalities and a public relations exercise, and that e-tolling will be going ahead anyway”.

He said Cosatu would mobilise its members “in their thousands” to oppose e-tolling.

“The recent rises in fuel prices has given added impetus to the campaign to make the motorists pay even more to drive on roads they have been using for years and already pay for through the fuel levy,” he said.

Sapa reported that an announcement on how e-tolling is to be implemented will be made on Friday, the interministerial committee on e-tolls said earlier today.

“The committee will be making an announcement on Friday, on how the e-tolls will be implemented,” spokesperson Thabo Masebe said.

“The committee has been meeting with various stakeholders since last week and we are concluding discussions this week.”

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe chairs the committee.

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