'Drive slow' protest swells

2012-12-06 13:36
Protesters march along the N3 highway in Ekurhuleni during a drive-slow motorcade against e-tolling. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Protesters march along the N3 highway in Ekurhuleni during a drive-slow motorcade against e-tolling. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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E-toll protest causes chaos

2012-12-06 14:17

Johannesburg motorists are struggling to reach their destinations as Cosatu's drive-slow protest continues on the city's freeways. Watch. WATCH

Johannesburg - Protesters stuck their heads and bodies out of their car windows and sunroofs on the M1 highway on Thursday during a "drive-slow" Cosatu protest against e-tolling in Gauteng.

By midday, the convoy had considerably swelled and was almost at a standstill.

Some protesters began walking in front of the motorcade, but the police tried to persuade them to get back into their cars.

Some protesters sang from their cars, while others shouted "Down with e-tolls".

"I don't think the e-tolls is right for me because it's costing more money to me," said one truck driver, who was interviewed in his vehicle in the motorcade.

"I already have to support my children. I can't support my children together with e-tolls."


Another motorist said e-tolls would make citizens poorer.

"The salaries are not going up. If we have to pay extra for toll money... what's going to happen at the end of the day? People are going to get poorer."

Another truck driver believed demolishing the toll gantries was the way to go.

"They should demolish those stupid things. We are already paying for these roads... and now they want to charge us double."

On the N3, the protesters were supported by truck drivers, who slowed down to hoot, wave and shake their fists in solidarity.

The N3 motorcade stopped at some toll gantries and caused traffic congestion.

Court application

Earlier, Johannesburg metro police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said no bicycles were allowed to be part of the "drive-slow" protest.

He said vehicles which were not part of the protest and which blocked traffic would be towed away.

Protesters want the e-toll system dropped. Last week, the Congress of SA Trade Unions threatened to occupy Gauteng streets, and to block freeways during the protest.

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance has brought a court application to have the e-toll project scrapped, but a ruling has yet to be made.

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