Outrage over Zuma's e-tolls statement

2013-10-22 12:47
President Jacob Zuma (GCIS)

President Jacob Zuma (GCIS)

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Johannesburg - Comments by President Jacob Zuma on e-tolls in which he said that "we can't think like Africans" caused outrage on Tuesday.

Zuma commented on Monday at the Gauteng Manifesto Forum at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg on e-tolls among other matters.

"We can’t think like Africans, in Africa, generally. We are in Johannesburg, this is Johannesburg. It's not some national road in Malawi," Zuma said.

“I don't know what Malawi's roads infrastructure has to do with Gauteng's e-tolls. Zuma needs to chill with the arrogance,” tweeted writer T.O Molefe.

“I'm desperately trying to understand what Zuma meant with his 'African' remarks. I've translated it to Zulu and Xhosa but it sounds even worse!” tweeted Mondli Zondo.

Jacob Zuma must withdraw his presidency, not just the e-tolls statement. The rot is his whole being not just his thoughts,” said Mindlo Mindlo.

Withdraw remarks - DA

The DA also joined the conversation, with the party’s national spokesperson Mmusi Maimane calling for the president to withdraw his remarks, Sapa reported.

"The president was saying we must welcome e-tolls and pay up because new freeways have been built in Johannesburg. What the president doesn't realise is Africa is actually developing at a faster pace than he suggests," he said.

"Many governments in African countries have adopted investor friendly policies that create jobs. They are not burdening citizens with double-taxation though an expensive e-tolling system."

According to the report, Zuma said the roads would be tolled and workers who could afford and maintain a car would be able to pay e-tolls, and the rest of the people could use public transport.

Maimane said Zuma should withdraw these "insulting remarks" and said people were not backward when they said they could not afford e-tolls.

Tolling system ‘backward and expensive’

He said Zuma's claim that working class people could afford e-tolls was false because people could not afford to pay an extra R400 a month to travel between Soweto and Midrand.

"Instead of insulting South Africans by saying we are backward when we oppose e-tolls, we should get rid of this backward and expensive tolling system," he said.

The Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed an Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) appeal against the implementation of e-tolls by the SA National Roads Agency Limited on 9 October.

On Friday, Outa announced that it would not continue its appeal against the ruling because of a lack of money.

- News24 and Sapa
Read more on:    da  |  outa  |  mmusi maimane  |  jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  transport  |  tolls

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