Cosatu: Toll operator will milk public

2012-03-07 11:31

Johannesburg - The private operator of Gauteng's controversial tolls is going to "milk" the public, the Congress of SA Trade Unions said in a memorandum prepared for handing over during its anti-toll protest on Wednesday.

"All the evidence indicates that the revenues from the tolls are going to be enormous and that the loans will be paid off quickly, leaving the private operator to milk the public," the memorandum reads.

Demanding the dismantling of the 42 toll gantries already straddling the N1, N3, N12, and R21, Cosatu said if more money was put into stopping fraud and corruption, government would easily have enough to fund road construction and maintenance.

Public transport ‘inadequate’

According to the memorandum, to be delivered to government representatives in every province, the trade union federation is opposed to the tolls for the following reasons:

- They will make it more expensive for the poor to travel by road, and will also increase food inflation by adding to the cost of transporting goods in and out of Gauteng;

- Toll roads will further exclude the poor and create divisions;

- Public transport is still "woefully inadequate" with a third of workers using their private cars to get to work.


"This is not a free choice. It is because our public transport system is expensive, unsafe, and unreliable," the memorandum reads.

Besides the Bus Rapid Transit System put in place in Johannesburg and Cape Town, there had not been any new subsidised bus route in over 10 years, Cosatu said.

- Finally, Cosatu believes that having the private sector operate the toll roads is the same as privatisation, which the federation opposes.

"We pay taxes so that government can build and maintain roads, hospitals, schools, etc.

"For all of the above reasons, we demand the dismantling of the Gauteng motorway gantries, and the immediate halting, for good, of the Gauteng open tolls."

- Are you at the strike? Send us your eyewitness accounts

  • Sazi - 2012-03-07 11:38

    Let's see who will win this battle, I myself I'm not gonna fork out another R500.00 just to go to work and still pay tax on top of tax...

      christo.stone - 2012-03-07 11:42

      Exactly my sentiments. We pay tax on everything and they just want more and more... We're not the ones working in government who get fat salaries AND steal some more on the side line.

      Sean - 2012-03-07 11:45

      It appears as if the public as whole are behind the unions on this one. It aint just the tolls. Eksdom lent R28b from the world bank to fund their cockup. So they pushed up prices by more than 300% only to post a profit for last year of R10b. In one year they recouperated 33% of the total borrowing. Now e as the public are stuck with these high prices for ever. The route cause of the electricity issue was bad management by eksdom. So how about lowering the price of electricity and making it affordable for all

      kgomotso.radise - 2012-03-07 11:49

      Milking the public with e-toll will exacerbate the plight of the destitute particularly the bleeding tax payer & motorists

      Sazi - 2012-03-07 11:49

      @Sean on that issue of Eksdom, I saw an article that they threw a major bash of a party for their employees to 'motivate' them, at whose expense? OURS!!! And now this e-toll? Surely in this country you never work to better your life but only to enrich other people you never know.

      Da - 2012-03-07 12:13

      We want Vavi to be our next president of the country, he really knows the needs of the people of SA.

      theO rAcLe - 2012-03-07 12:32

      Thats why i say even if they abolish the tolls they will make up for it in fuel prices. Catch 22

      Art - 2012-03-07 12:33

      I don't mind being SCREWED..... someone must just KISS me occasionally!!!

      theO rAcLe - 2012-03-07 12:33

      But yes, dismantle the toll system completely

  • christo.stone - 2012-03-07 11:38

    "Cosatu said if more money was put into stopping fraud and corruption, government would easily have enough to fund road construction and maintenance" Oh god, they're talking sense! If only the government would have this kind of sense/brains...

      Mzamo - 2012-03-07 11:48

      I concur with COSATU on that point!! AG said more than R20 billion per annum goes down the drain through corruption in Govt. Depts. That means if they stop corruption, this bill can be settled within one year!!

      Susan - 2012-03-07 12:07

      maybe we should vote for cosatu...they seem to have more sense and logic about how things shoulD be, whatch out ANC, COSATU HAS YOU FIGURED OUT!!!

      Derek - 2012-03-07 12:50

      Cosatu are in political alliance with the governing party! THEY helped them to get elected into this position of power to steal and plunder and now have the audacity to whine about corruption and act the good guys!

      Eric - 2012-03-07 12:54

      @ Susan - COSATU has you figured out!

  • Cast53 - 2012-03-07 11:40

    For once I totally agree with COSATU on an issue (e-tolling), if they want to implement the tolls they should atleast provide as with an alternative - Public transport

      Kobus - 2012-03-07 11:42

      For once I also agree with them.

      Sazi - 2012-03-07 11:55

      They say it will hurt the 'rich' I for one travel on the N1 everyday and not once have I seen a person driving a Lamborghini next to me, but I always see the normal people like me who sukkel to even maintain the cars they take them to work. And by the way I never take taxis cause 1, they are unsafe and secondly there are no taxis going to where I work!!

  • VWhitepaw - 2012-03-07 11:42

    This is different matters. It should have been kept separate. I am totally against e-tolling. I have no opinion about labor brokers at this time.

      Given - 2012-03-07 11:47

      I have an opinion with regards to labour brokers.Why have labour brokers when u can hire the ppl urself.why should ppl work their asses off only for the brokers to take 25% of their hard earned money. This is some form of pimping. Cutting out the middle man always works out cheaper.

      Susan - 2012-03-07 12:04

      Back in the day there where no labour brokers, all companies did their own procurement via HR, which was much better, people negotiated their own salaries, now the broker does the negotiating on your behalf,which is more benficial to themselves..

      Clive.D.Buckley - 2012-03-07 12:17

      702 had Zwelinzima Vavi on the radio this morning. He said they have combined the 2 issues, to lessen the impact of the strikes on the economy. i.e. instead of having multiple days fo strikes, we are having only 1... actually made perfect sense..

      Barry - 2012-03-07 12:32

      No investment in training, carry no responsibility and supply a person who has limited skills.

      Deon - 2012-03-07 12:37

      If you don't like labour brokers don't use them. They however does bring people together. Most employers don't like unions but we won't strike to try and get rid of them. They don't break any laws unlike some union members / strikers.

      Eric - 2012-03-07 12:50

      @NuttyZA. It does make a perverse sort of sense - confuse two issues and claim that everyone on the march who are anti-tolls are actually also anti-labour brokers

      Eric - 2012-03-07 12:55

      @Given. Don't use labour brokers if you don't want to - who forces you to do so?

  • Dexter - 2012-03-07 12:03

    Cosatu to replace ANC!

      Eric - 2012-03-07 12:56

      From the frying pan into the fire

  • Mzamo - 2012-03-07 12:03

    Nkobi Holdings was operating / managing the N3 Toll Consortium...who were benefiting from that company? Now who owns the new company running these E-Tolls and who will be benefiting there? I bet, it still the same people!!!! And we have to folk out R500 p/m for these people......!!!We need to act swiftly as a public!! If we keep on giving all the power to one party as we doing now, there is still more we going to be screwed on!!!

  • Pieter - 2012-03-07 12:04

    I live 9km from OR Tambo. I cannot get to the airport on public transport. Not only to get to the airport, but to have access to the Gautrain. I have tried in vain to find a way - busses, taxi's and trains to get access to a public transport network around JHB, South Africa's biggest city, without using my private vehicle, but it seems impossible (and I will walk within reasonable distance). Now I have to pay extra to drive? I will never pay these e-trolls untill there is an alternative...

  • cj.venter - 2012-03-07 12:04

    this strike is NOT about the toll roads, they didn't get the labour brokers out of the picture last year, they are gunning for that primarily and using the tolls as their platform to accomplish the abolishing of labour brokers. i bet you the outcome will be a lowering of the toll costs to motorists, but taxis and busses will still be exempt and petrol prices will still rise.

      Eric - 2012-03-07 12:57


  • MduXman - 2012-03-07 12:04

    VAVI VIVA!!!!!!

      Kevin - 2012-03-07 19:02

      Don't push it

  • MBA - 2012-03-07 12:06


      Eric - 2012-03-07 12:51

      May I suggest you stop voting for the ANC (if, indeed, you do)

  • KReddy - 2012-03-07 12:09

    They talking absolute sense!! If we saw what our tax is doing for us in all other areas like electricity, other basic services like water, education etc then maybe we won't be so agaisnt this draconian imposition. Plus the fuel levy is going up. We were given the choice to register in advance and it be \pay as you go\ or post paid. As it is no one pays fines and jmpd had to write of so many fines due to contraventions of AartoN how exactly are they gonna recuperate the tolls then? \r\n\r\nWe are being fleeced!!!!!

  • Given - 2012-03-07 12:09

    For once im happy that we as south african citizens regardless of race agree on one thing,and are fighting a common battle.Now this is the south africa i want to see,where we dont judge the government based on race but issues that affect us as a country.

  • Gavin - 2012-03-07 12:11

    Why don't they concentrate on fixing the roads that are in such a terrible state.They do have money to fix the roads.This is a bill that they are battling to pay so they get the public to pay for it how convenient.

  • Sergio - 2012-03-07 12:13


  • justin.pretorius - 2012-03-07 12:18

    I am with COSATU on this one!

      Eric - 2012-03-07 12:53

      Justin - read the small print! COSATU is using a populist issue to generate the illusion that these people are also against labour brokers - which is the REAL point of the strike. Don't be manipulated by COSATU!

  • Mike - 2012-03-07 12:22

    With companies paying toll to deliver goods the prices of food goes up, when that goes up then petrol will go up to equalise, then because of inflation due to those factors there will be an increase in toll tarrifs......and so the circle goes on and on. Does government think i pay huge amounts of tax on money that I worked for to have basic services seen to just to have some fat incompitent idiot use MY money to fund his bmw? then still have to pay tax on everything else, the tax on our petrol is ridiculous and now still tolls? I support COSATU all the way here, somebody has to do something, and i agree with their labour broker issue aswell, but really, if companies employed proper qualified HR staff instead of forced appointments there wouldnt be a need for brokers. I've had dealings with a broker and as an employee they tried to get 11k out of a colleuge for resigning before 12 months were up. Pathetic

  • patricia.fuggle - 2012-03-07 12:28

    Labour Brokers do provide a service to work seekers, but by they the broker being permitted to rake off 25% of what the employer pays and only passing on the remaining 75% to the worker is not fair. Governmemt mus regulate for the broker to only have a maximum of 5% (to cover the cost of running the office & business) but 95% must go to the worker.

      Clive.D.Buckley - 2012-03-07 12:42

      25% may be a bit high but they still have to make a profi (and still need to pay their own salaries etc... 5% is far too low

      cj.venter - 2012-03-07 13:40

      95% to the worker so government can rake off 65% for themselves, lovely.

  • Andre - 2012-03-07 12:35

    i agree with Cosatu on this one-the govt is misappropriating billions of rands that should have gone towards the roads-i smell a rat here.Here is what everybody in JHB must do:find alternative routes and use them,even if it takes you a little bit longer or perhaps cost you a few rand more-if Sanral gets nothing,it will teach them and the govt not to mess around with the people of this country,including those that voted for this govt and on which the goverment is turning.Next time,think before you vote-your chosen govt is misappropriating your tax money,this after they promise at election time that they will look after you,the citizen-what a joke.

      Mike - 2012-03-07 12:39

      I agree with that, if everybody stayed off their toll road they will change their tune very quick

  • Jan - 2012-03-07 12:37

    Viva Vavi Viva

  • Delton - 2012-03-07 12:39

    This should teach the dictators in the ANC to think twice before pushing something down our throats. Thank goodness COSATU have seen the downstream implications of e-tolling. Something the ANC obviously didn't even think about before committing to this idiotic idea. VIVA COSATU VIVA!

  • cheryl.berger3 - 2012-03-07 12:40

    I am with Cosatu on this one... We pay tax on everything and with the increased price of food, electricity, petrol etc., what more do they want from us.... "We are being milked... quite correct" this needs to be stopped!!!!

  • Rudi - 2012-03-07 12:41

    So too does higher wages for unproductive workers.

  • ReunionofIntelligentMinds - 2012-03-07 12:42

    Reading everyone's comments I notice that all have the same view and it shows me that we CAN work together for a better South Africa. We USED to have well maintained roads without having to pay extra to use them. What happened to it? The government uses the funds to better the lifestyles of themselves and do nothing to maintain the roads. Now that they cannot postpone anymore they expect us to pay for it AND at the same time AGAIN still pocketing major profit from it.

      Rudi - 2012-03-07 12:47

      A few things happend. A. A disfunctional rail system. B. Billions of rands stolen each year. C. Budgets not being spent. D. Contracts given to companies that are unable to do propper maintenance. That is the long and short of our problems.

  • Marlene - 2012-03-07 12:56

    Well said Cosatu!!!

  • Derek - 2012-03-07 12:58

    Cosatu are in political alliance with the governing party and helped them into their position of power to plunder from the SA public at large! Now they whine about corruption etc and act the good guys. I certainly am against e-tolling but the mind boggles at their duplicity apart from the damage their other labour actions and demands cause to our economy. Laughable, isn't it/

  • Mahumani WaNjini - 2012-03-07 12:59

    I really think its unfair for the Gauteng drivers as this will make people very poor.its petrol rise and toll fees,they really should stop this its not ON.I'm against it.

  • rory.short1 - 2012-03-07 13:07

    Roads are an essential contributor to the economic activities in any community therefore logically roads should bee funded from the public purse because everybody benefits from them. To restrict their use to only those who can afford it decreases economic activity and increases income differentials within society surely something that no sensible government should contemplate doing.

  • Gavin - 2012-03-07 13:11

    Let me see if I understand this properly, My tax money is used for road maintenance, then you decide to lend my tax money to a company who is going to build and manage the toll system and ask me for more tax money?? Wow, this is a no brainer, who actually thought of this?

  • hudds - 2012-03-07 13:14

    fully agree with this memorandum.. actually feel like im letting the country down by not striking!! put a stop to this government that is destroying the country..

  • Gavin - 2012-03-07 13:14

    There is actually one solution, which would be in the direction that COSATU has taken, but would involve a national one week boycot of all services, Fuel, power, roads, etc. The effect that all South Africans doing this together would have on these "fat" cats would be billions and would really hurt. Food for thought, but it would mean "All South Africans" would have to stand together, herein lies the problem.

      Bench86 - 2012-03-07 14:04

      We'll hurt ourselves more than them. The solution is for these morons to stop striking and start voting for a party that can actually govern. The ANC has got no motivation to deliver services while the brainless keeps voting for them!

  • subhashlalji - 2012-03-07 13:15

    So ironic that "someone at the Ministry of Transport or other relavant department blindly abused thier powers and gave the go ahead for a project of this nature, one wonders if it was done to fill thier own pockets just simply by building all this tolls, probably knowing that the end result would be what is happening today, though those who filled thier pockets must be sitting at home laughing thier heads off saing who cares !!!!

  • Ian - 2012-03-07 13:18

    Thanks Vavi -but lets be clear; IT IS NOT JUST THE SO CALLED POOR THAT WILL BE AFFECTED. YOUR AVERAGE MIDDLE CLASS PERSON IS ALSO STRUGGLING TO SEE HOW THEY WILL FIT THE EXTRA TOLL COSTS INTO THEIR BUDGET. Currenty having enough petrol to get you through the month is a challenge in itself without the hike in petrol prices. It seems that this govt is prepared to take the country as a whole down in the pursuit of wealth. Are we really surprised - TIA (This is Africa)

  • Gavin - 2012-03-07 13:20

    Think about it, The labour broker and Employer,HR,etc. are in it together, they shut the door for normal employment procedures and then open a door for "fraud". You will be doing all the work and they will be rewarded for your blood, sweat and tears. Do the maths, one broker getting jobs for 100 people, splitting the 25% with their partner, great income for joining the gravy train.

  • Morama - 2012-03-07 13:31

    The toll opetrator will help ANC and it's alliance members to milk the public.....just proven lately with R300million!!! There won't be any outcome out of this stupid protest!!!

  • Derek - 2012-03-07 13:36

    There have got to be labor brokers. You can't expect a stevedoring company, for example, who may require 100 laborers today and then 50 tomorrow to have people permanently employed. The same goes for a farmer who may need 100 people for a month or two to harvest fruit and then perhaps only 20 to sort the fruit to permanently employ all these people. You need to have labor brokers for this type of seasonal/infrequent work. I don't believe that people should be exploited but rather regulate the industry.

  • william.sudding - 2012-03-07 13:45

    I agree.

  • John - 2012-03-07 13:48

    Many are missing the main objective of Cosato. their numbers are dwindling because of labour brokers not having debit order facilities.

  • Craig - 2012-03-07 14:09


  • Melinda - 2012-03-07 14:24

    this is all just (F) up, we need medical aid because public hospitals you will get raped, or get killed, petrol is very expensive, then tax now tolls how must any south african make a living how do you choose your transport or food for the month

  • Konstabel - 2012-03-07 14:49

    Cosatu is totally correct here. You cannot allow government to not deliver because they are stealing and squandering the taxes that have been collected to provide services. If we allow e-Tolling in Gauteng it will move to all major cities and we may also find ourselves paying for many other services govermeny is meant to provide. We already need private medical aid, private schooling, private security etc as many of these services have degraded to an unacceptable level due to all the theft and mismanagement by govenment.

  • Erin - 2012-03-07 15:18

    Got to love how the South African government has to try out everything that first world countries have already tried and failed at. It failed in the first worlds so how exactly is this going to succeed in a third world country such as ours???... (Just saying)

  • treatwell - 2012-03-07 16:15

    If anyone has registered for the e-toll I hope they also both some vaseline

  • Kevin - 2012-03-07 19:01

    Dismantle the toll booths and no more tolls. Simple

  • Chris - 2012-03-10 11:37

    We pay taxes so that government can build and maintain roads, hospitals, schools, etc. For all of the above reasons, we demand the dismantling of the Gauteng motorway gantries, and the immediate halting, for good, of the Gauteng open tolls."And now another tarif increase for Eskom. The ANC are to blame.

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