9 000 sign Gauteng toll petition
Johannesburg - The DA has submitted a petition to the Gauteng Legislature with over 9 000 signatures against the proposed Gauteng toll system, it said on Thursday.
"We the undersigned demand that the highway toll system be halted," the petition read, according to Democratic Alliance MPL Neil Campbell.
"The costs of these tolls are too high, too complicated and unaffordable."
The signatures were gathered from people on some of the party's internet sites.
Campbell said the petition would now be considered by the Petitions and Public Participation Committee.
"The DA will push for public hearings where ordinary people can make a real input and be listened to properly," Campbell said.
"The DA is not giving up the fight against the toll fees. It can be reversed if there is enough public pressure."
Deputy Transport Minister Jeremy Cronin announced last month that cabinet had approved reduced toll tariffs for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) phase A1.
Motorcyclists would pay 24 cents a kilometre, light motor vehicles 40 cents, medium vehicles R1, and "longer" vehicles R2.
Qualifying commuter taxis and buses would be exempted entirely.
In addition to the 31% e-tag discount, other discounts applicable would be a time of day discount available to all vehicles, and a frequent user discount for motorcycles and light motor vehicles fitted with an e-tag.
Political parties, trade unions, non-government organisations and civil society reacted with anger to the announcement.
The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) threatened to strike if the policy was not scrapped, and the Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) said it would join in.
Automobile Association (AA) spokesperson Gary Ronald said it appeared that all intentions of a fund to alleviate tolling had disappeared, leaving the public to foot the bill.
Business Unity SA (Busa) said the e-tolling system would introduce significant administrative and cost complexity for business that would be felt right across the spectrum by the tourism industry, manufacturers, and small business.