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Ndebele to get tolls petition

2011-11-14 17:25

Johannesburg - A joint petition against the planned Gauteng highway tolling system will be sent to Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele within 14 days, the Gauteng legislature said on Monday.

Spokesman Sithembele Tshwete said the organisations behind the petition included the Congress of SA Trade Unions, the SA National Civic Organisation, the SA National NGO Coalition, the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union, and the Democratic Alliance.

A public hearing in Johannesburg on Friday heard several bodies and members of the public calling for the tolling system to be scrapped.

The petition would form part of a campaign to resist the tolling system set to come into effect in February.

Tshwete said the Gauteng legislature would organise a meeting between the provincial transport department and the petitioners to discuss the development of public transport.

It would also table a report on last week's hearing to be debated in the legislature.

The African National Congress caucus in the Gauteng legislature said in a statement that submissions made at the public hearing would help find a solution that favoured all those concerned.

Chief whip Brian Hlongwa thanked the petitions committee led by Jacob Khawe for a smooth process and Gauteng residents for participating.

"The contributions will also assist immensely, members of the house to debate on informed views and submissions, should the matter be proposed for debate in the house again."

On Friday, the Gauteng petition standing committee heard that the high cost of the tolls would increase the costs of doing business in the province.

It also heard how the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) continued to register motorists for electronic tolling tags while public hearings were still underway.

Cosatu's Gauteng secretary Dumisani Dakile said during the hearing the tolls would affect workers the most.

"Already, some companies have indicated that should the tolls be implemented they are going to retrench workers."

Dakile said Cosatu was prepared to take to the streets to have its demands met.