Cosatu to continue fight against e-tolling

2013-03-06 16:25

Toll road legislation was rushed through the National Assembly without an opportunity for public debate, Cosatu has said.

“This bill ... is a matter of great public concern, and there should have been proper parliamentary hearings into the matter,” Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven said in a statement today.

“We demand that the National Council of Provinces rectifies this by holding public hearings and does not rubber-stamp the legislation.”

The Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill legalises the e-tolling of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.

It was approved in the National Assembly today.

Transport Minister Ben Martins said the bill was essential to enable “the appropriate implementation of the e-tolling system”.

The measures were required for the provision of public transport and other projects in Gauteng, he said. He rejected calls for e-tolling to be scrapped, saying the non-collection of tolls might impact negatively on the ability of the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) to raise capital for infrastructure development projects.

Inability to collect revenue would also damage the credit reputation of Sanral among investors, and could negatively affect Sanral’s and the government’s international ratings, Martins said.

Most opposition parties strongly opposed the bill. It now goes to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence.

Craven said Cosatu would continue to fight against e-tolling, as it was a burden on the poor.

“The extra cost will also come just after this week’s big fuel price increase, just before Eskom’s first 8% tariff increase... and the 15% rise in the fuel levy, to R2.13, on April 3, announced in the budget,” he said.

“Large numbers of private vehicle users simply do not have a single extra rand to spare.”

The trade federation would continue its mass action against e-tolls, which had already seen marches and drive-slow protests on Gauteng’s highways.

Craven urged motorists not to register with Sanral, not to buy e-tags and to make the system of collection unworkable.

An application by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) to scrap e-tolling was dismissed in December by the High Court in Pretoria.

The court granted Outa leave, on January 25, to take the matter to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.

A date for the appeals court hearing had yet to be set.

Craven said Cosatu would support Outa’s appeal.

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. 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

Traffic Alerts
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.