Sanral, transport dept confirm: Tolls on hold

2012-04-26 21:00

Johannesburg - The implementation of the e-tolling system on Gauteng's highways was postponed for a month by the transport department and SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) on Thursday.

The announcement was made by transport director general George Mahlalela, just hours after the African National Congress (ANC) and the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said they would ask the government for a month-long delay.

E-tolling was to have been implemented on 185km of highway in Gauteng on Monday.

In a statement on Thursday night, the department said its implementation was being postponed until May 30.

This was to "finalise regulations following input on regulatory and administrative issues from the public and interested stakeholders.

Welcoming the decision, the ANC said it showed leadership and responsiveness by the government.

"It is encouraging to us that we live in a democracy where these issues can be thoroughly debated and discussed," added Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria is to rule at 11:00 on Saturday on an urgent interdict to stop the implementation of the e-tolling system.

The application was brought by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance. There are seven respondents, including the transport department, Sanral and the National Treasury. the Congress of SA Trade Unions has an observer present.

Earlier, Cosatu and the ANC said they had agreed to the delay in talks on Thursday.

"The leadership has collectively agreed to postpone the implementation of the e-toll collection system by a month," they said in a statement.

"This will give the task team more time to explore alternative funding mechanisms."

Cosatu general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi told reporters on Thursday that the entire central executive committee of Cosatu was united against e-tolling.

"There is not a single dissenting voice," he said.

He said e-tolls would represent a huge additional burden on all motorists, particularly workers who had no choice but to use cars to get to and from work because of a lack of reliable and safe public transport.

Cosatu has postponed a general strike against e-tolling planned for Monday.

The delay would give it time to assess the success of resistance to e-tolling, and any future legal action.

Other mass action planned for Monday, including a highway blockade in Johannesburg, would go ahead, Vavi said, Speaking after a special meeting of Cosatu's executive, Vavi said the blockade of four tollgates at Middelburg and Nkomazi, in Mpumulanga, would form part of the mass action on Monday.

In North West, a demonstration was being planned at Swartruggens plaza.

On Tuesday, a march would take place from the May Day rally at Good Hope Centre to the Cape Chamber of Commerce.

Vavi said Cosatu's executive was opposed to what he described as the "commodification" of South Africa's public road network.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    cosatu  |  outa  |  sanral  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  george mahlalela  |  johannesburg  |  transport  |  tolls
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

6 reasons Boks won’t botch it
Fiji far too strong for Uruguay
Burger hopes for elusive World Cup win
As it happened: Fiji 47-15 Uruguay
Traffic Alerts

Relationships and significant connections may play an important role in your day today. Let the warmth of the Leo moon inspire more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.