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E-tolling still scheduled to begin on Monday

2012-04-26 19:46

Johannesburg - The ANC and Cosatu will ask the government to delay the Gauteng's e-tolling system by a month, they said in a joint statement on Thursday.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions and African National Congress said they reached an agreement to this effect in a meeting earlier in the day.

"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."

E-tolling is still scheduled to begin in Gauteng on Monday.

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The transport department said it would shortly issue a statement in response to the Cosatu and ANC announcement.

The SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has not yet responded to requests for its comment on the announcement.

News of the agreement came shortly after the North Gauteng High Court adjourned until Saturday a ruling on an application to stop e-tolling.

"I plan to give judgment at 11:00 on Saturday," Judge Bill Prinsloo said on Friday. "The matter stands until then."

The civil society coalition, the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa), has brought court action to prevent Sanral from introducing e-tolling as planned.

Earlier, Treasury lawyer Jeremy Gauntlett told the High Court that if an interdict preventing e-tolling was granted, it could be in effect for the rest of the year.

"If the interdict is granted, in all legal reality, it must stand until the end of litigation, which would not be set to end any time soon... maybe until the end of the year," Gauntlett said.

Debt

This was because of the time required for the review, and further court hearings and appeals.

He said that if Sanral defaulted on one month of its payment, the government would have to pay its entire debt.

"It does not mean that government would not be able to meet it [the debt], it has to, but at what cost? For this country to sustain R20bn in unbudgeted capital is a serious matter," Gauntlett said.

He said the government would have to neglect other social and economic obligations to pay off the debt.

"The milk has been spilt with regards to the roads, and people are using them. The issue now is how to pay for them. It has to be paid for. You can say you don't like it, but you can't say that it is irrational."

He said the previous four delays to the e-toll system had come at a "great cost".

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.

Highway blockade going ahead

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 the 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.

Comments
  • Squeegee - 2012-04-26 19:59

    Keep up the pressure...

  • SA - 2012-04-26 20:08

    THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN AND THE GOVERMENT SHOULD HEAR WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY OR THEY WILL BE OUT - WE SAY NO TO THE GAUTENG E TOLL SYSTEM.

  • Howard - 2012-04-26 20:11

    Erhem! Today is THURSDAY! How could Judge Bill Prinsloo have already said something tomorrow? Is the party at SAPA open to all? Sounds like it's smokn'!

  • Logan Porter - 2012-04-26 20:15

    I agree come on news 24 what's up is rolling on or off on Monday?

  • Foremind - 2012-04-26 20:23

    Hey u government, it is clear dat u dictating. Why didn't u consult us b4 u put urself in dat 20bn debt coz u knew dat we voted 4 u so u can assist in eradicating poverty. Whoeva dat ws involved in dis deal, use ur salaries 2 finance it

  • valcooperRSA - 2012-04-26 20:28

    This still has a stink of corruption.......is anc the gov or not....I am confused

  • Mattewis - 2012-04-26 20:52

    These arrogant toll companies should be stopped in their tracks! They pitch the lie that people are set against paying for the use of the roads! What however ticks people off is that most of the toll income goes directly into overheads and the enrichment of the shareholder-kleptocracy. The only shareholders in national roads should be the people of South Africa, definitely not the same overseas bunch who paid the bribes for the arms deal! Furthermore, anyone travelling these highways would have noticed the incompetence exhibited with the building of the roads. Some sections of brand new bitumen pavement were pulled-up & replaced no less than three times! You only have to look at the brand new offices built by Sanral to see that they are getting ready for "THE GOOD TIMES" to roll, while the poor will be coughing up for their "mieliepap" when the effect of the toll and ridiculous fuel price hike filters through to the food prices! Mark my words: "HKGK in hierdie land"!

  • Christo - 2012-04-26 20:55

    2012? No year with the day mentioned? Sweet 2013?!!

  • Nikki Bodenstein - 2012-04-26 21:00

    Can't wait to see how our nation destroys their toll crap on the highways, lol!

  • jan.v.vuuren - 2012-04-26 21:02

    Well FMG is the ANC not the government?

  • Marrio - 2012-04-26 21:18

    Freshly coined word: E-Toll(ed) - Its like a "can't believe" even, that moment when you get up in the morning to find your neighbour has dug up a trench in the street across your driveway claiming its a speed bump to protect your safety. For YEARS to come it leaves you sitting, holding your head between your hands thinking: Dam did he really do that, is that legal!!! (You have been e-tolled!!!) E-Tag(ged) - Lets say you paid me a fee based on an agreement (like Patrol levy), then lets say I grabbed your wallet and take some more of your hard earned cash and just before returning your wallet, I use my finger to block off one nostril and forcefully blow through the other so that mucus hits you right between the eyes, just so you know I dont give a F#!K. (You have been E-Tagged!!!) SANRAL(ed) – So religiously you have been paying the Levy for your town house, then comes the time for the body corporate to do some repairs and upgrades. Suddenly you have to fork out money for all the repairs and upgrades, you then enquire what’s happened to the Levies you paid. You’re told that they don’t know but you need to pay because the upgrades benefit you– Just pay!!! (they say)... Its robbery, but endorsed by government (My friend, you have just been SANRALed!!!)

  • Warren - 2012-04-26 21:27

    \20 Billion in un-budgeted capital\ who's fault is that?- how about cutting SAA loose,privatise it-one less white elephant to worry about to raise some capital for the tRolls?

  • Kaapseklonk - 2012-04-26 21:36

    On safm radio who is paying for \Our Churchs are Burning\ .It gets played every day and are ministers of Churchs trying to instill hatred in the black public against the white public.I thought ministers were suppose to preach about God and Jesus and forgiveness.I suppose the ANC government are now using these ministers from the Churchs to install and incite hatred in SA Public. .ANC and COSATU agree to wait another month to bring etolls ,but they have been exposed for tryed to prevent the Court from hearing why the audit general signed off on etoll.The audit general wants to claim he was miss lead by Sanral.Did the audit general do his own calculations on how much SA Public must pay?Why are tolls going ahead if ANC and COSATU agreed to wait another month?Is it becausd the ANC lawyers have told the ANC that they cant make flip flop descision after hours and they cant run a country like that,because the ANC i already Gazzet Monday start behind the DAs back! ANC is becomming to Corrupt for itself .

  • Kaapseklonk - 2012-04-26 21:39

    I thought the ANC is the ANC government have they become so Corrupt that they are corrupting and confussing themselves?Whos governing South Africa then?

  • George - 2012-04-27 08:18

    Well done Vavi. People and public roads must remain free. Too many people have given their lives to make sure that happens. So do away with labour brokers and Scamral; both offensive in the extreme.

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