Cosatu calls for tolls protest

2012-11-15 07:30

Pretoria - The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) has called for a day of civil disobedience on November 30 in protest against the e-tolling of Gauteng's highways, it said on Wednesday evening.

"We believe that government has taken its decision," Cosatu provincial chairperson Phutas Tseki told a public hearing in Pretoria.

"So, that's why we have taken a decision that we want to march on all the toll gates where we are going to have civil disobedience with our own small, medium and big cars on the day," he said.

"And we want to mobilise the society of Gauteng and society at large that they would support us in this action."

Tseki said that if protesters drove slowly at the gantries, other motorists would be forced to take alternative routes.

"In our view, they are not alternative roads. They are in very poor [condition] and we cannot drive on them."

Which alternative route?

He said this would make the government see the need to build new alternative roads if it wanted to tax the highways.

Earlier, Primedia Broadcasting head Yusuf Abramjee, speaking in his capacity as a Pretoria resident, said there were no adequate alternative routes from Pretoria to Johannesburg.

"Going from OR Tambo [International Airport] I have to ask which is the alternative route?"

He said the R55 and the R511, which were said to be the alternative roads, were in dismal conditions.
"Let me put it bluntly: the [R55] is in a very poor state."

The hearings are being held to give affected parties an opportunity to share with the government their views about the proposed e-tolling.

Abramjee said capping tolls at R550 a month was small comfort.

This was a large amount of money for many people and would make life harder for them day-to-day.
He called being taxed on urban roads an unjust law.

"Do the right thing. Postpone it and listen to the people."

Tolls explained

More than 200 people attended the public hearing at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research on Wednesday.

They were given a chance to raise their questions after the technical implementation of e-tolling was explained.

People asked about the prosecutions of offenders, enforcement and transparency in the building contract. Calls for a referendum were also made.

However, people jeered and shouted down most of the answers given by a panel consisting of the SA National Roads Agency Limited and the National Treasury.

At one stage, a man who felt his question had not been properly answered called for a vote of no confidence in the meeting and suggested a walkout. More than a quarter of the room followed him.

The meeting came to an end shortly before 21:00. Most people there were unhappy at the outcome.
Centurion resident Corneleus Parkin described it as "pointless".

"... It really feels like they have made up their minds. It feels like we are fighting a losing battle."


In October, the transport department instructed Sanral to suspend all processes related to the tolling of national roads.

The suspension included the planned phase two of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Plan, the Cape Winelands and the Wild Coast.

"It is important to note that there's a clear distinction or separation between phase one [almost completed] and phase two [no work has started as yet]," said transport spokesperson Tiyane Rikhotso.

He said phase one was almost complete and that the department wanted to hear alternative views from the public on the best possible model of financing the debt which had been incurred.

Last month, the government and Sanral announced new tariffs for the proposed e-tolling.

The announcement, made on October 26, marked the beginning of a 30-day public consultation process, after which Transport Minister Ben Martins would have a fortnight to "apply his mind", followed by another fortnight to gazette the final tariffs.

This means e-tolls could come into effect four days before Christmas.

The government has already contributed R5.75bn to the project, or 25% of the total debt owed by Sanral.

  • sthembiso.jali.50 - 2012-11-15 07:36

    Best idea. Count me in.

      guy.rice - 2012-11-15 07:40

      e-Tolling is not transparent and the public are unable to make any assessment of it while Sanral is not willing to make public the agreement with ETC. These talks are a sham! We close our petition on Thursday 15th for SANRAL to publically make available the contract with ETC. Help us get 1000 signatures If you need wording to send to Dear Sir, I wish to lodge my objection to e-Tolling: 1) SANRAL has spent a large amount of money advertising the registration process for e-Tolls but has spent very little on informing the public about where and when the public consultative processes would take place. In my opinion the pubic consultations are a sham and are too little too late. 2) I have no objection to paying for the upgrade to Gauteng roads. The method of collecting the money via e-Tolling is too expensive and the fuel levy should rather be used. 3) As a member of the public I would like to see the agreement with the Electronic Tolling Collection company made public. SANRAL committed on national television to make complete disclosure to COSATU and the DA. SANRAL handed over some of the contracts to COSATU only and had blanked out much of the information. As a member of the public, I cannot make an informed decision around the fairness of e-Tolling as SANRAL has not been transparent and has not communicated all relevant information on the matter to the public. Yours sincerely..

      sthembiso.jali.50 - 2012-11-15 07:48

      Its simple, lets blow up the e-toll structures. its the only langauge they will understand.

      maree.cassie - 2012-11-15 07:50

      A protest for good!!!!! It's like having a super power and deciding to either use it for good or evil! I wanna be a superhero! Count me in!

      beverly.young3 - 2012-11-15 07:53

      HEY!!! count me in!! errr..........I live 1020 kilometers away, but I wll be with you in spirit. I have the required vehicles too. REALLY!!!!!! So I will pasted the quote here again, COSATU, :- Omnishambles" is the Word of the Year for 2012 Oxford University Press on Tuesday crowned the word - defined as "a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations.

      corrupted.zuma - 2012-11-15 08:07

      I agree, Scamral and the government having tender deals and both are corrupted thief's

      citizen.kane.35 - 2012-11-15 08:18

      AA i challenge you to get together with Cosatu and block all the highways with AA yellow trucks, get banners for the roofs of cars, get mobilised on FB and Twitter and lets see the AA lead the people, somewhere i read your motto used to be 'The Champion of the Motorist', nows your chance ' Carpe Diem'

      daleinn - 2012-11-15 08:30

      Finally, some action from Cosatu...

      kimzoh - 2012-11-15 08:56

      The government has invested so much on these etolls, look at the buildings they've developed as offices (N1 BLD), the staff they've hired! This is totally poor project management! Nami ngithi come 30 Nov uZuma uzobona ugogo wakhe osewashona angibhadali lutho la!

      tebo.go.5 - 2012-11-15 09:06

      Im in, Scamral and government are taking advantage of us. Never!!!

      heathway.master - 2012-11-15 09:08

      One does not normally sleep with the enemy, but crucial times call for crucial decisions. I would strongly suggest that as many Gauteng motorists as possible, take part in the 1 day planned disobedience campaign. This should be no more than taking a few hours of work. The future of e-tolling on a National level, all depends on the solidarity shown by the Gauteng motorists. Apathy at this point will allow the Government to have its own way with its people, which will be a form of Political Rape. South Africans are generally noted for their apathy, always expecting someone else to fight their battles for them. The day might even be exiting and an opportunity for social interaction. With all traffic on all major freeways gridlocked, and no one being able to get to work, how about putting a mini braai in your boot. With the traffic stopped, braai fires all around with the smell of succulent chops and borewors in the air, us sociable South Africans can invite fellow motorists to share the feast, and after a few minutes of uniting our hatred against SANRAL, the topics can then move on to Soccer, Cricket and Rugby. Come on all Gauteng Motorists, get off your apathetic backsides and "WALK THE TALK"

      fanie.viljoen.73 - 2012-11-15 09:20

      Don't like them, but will join them. It is our roads paid by our money, we decide who pays to use them.

      heathway.master - 2012-11-15 10:04

      I cannot tell you how excited I am to for once be on COSTAU'S side. Man, give these guys credit. Look at the absolute mayhem they have been able to cause in our Mining and Agricultural Sectors. Believe me, these guys are world masters in Anarchy. With them on our side, how can we possibly fail. All we need to do , is to be there promptly on time, according to COSATU'S well-prepared schedule, which I am sure will be designed to deliver a perfect kick to the privates. I.e. Disruption of peak, rush hour traffic. Viola, as we all sit stuck in the gridlocked traffic on every major route into Johannesburg, and only arrive at work at 11HOO, we do not even apologise to the boss, just tell him that it was impossible to get to work. Remember, he also does not want e-toll costs of business vehicles to impact on the bottom-line. This act of civil disobedience will be so total, and bring the Johannesburg business centre to its knees. If this does not get the message through to the Government and SANRAL, that e-tolling is dead in the water, then nothing else ever will. Some business nerds might whine at the cost to the SA economy by all this disruption. It will only last a morning however. They must all accept that the country is soon in for another declared official public holiday “ZUMA IMPEACHMENT DAY”, so if we celebrate a little early, so what.

      LanfearM - 2012-11-15 10:29

      @ heathwaymaster - as they say, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, for a little while...

      mark.a.fysh - 2012-11-15 23:25

      Well yes, it is a good idea. Wonderful to have the support of millions of Cosatu members in opposing this ANC gvt in the apparent corruption and nepotism that characterises the steep collection costs and unfair taxation practice that has been exposed. Just remember, that Cosatu is a friend of convenience.

  • jacob.zooma.9 - 2012-11-15 07:36

    This does not sound good.

  • Zahir - 2012-11-15 07:38

    The etolls is a big scam if u register and pay for etolls u support corruption which is an illegal act

      gift.mushi.9 - 2012-11-15 09:25

      We will never win this war against government. Let's fight for fees to remain unchanged for the next 20 years, that is maybe what we can win.

      alan.gernet - 2012-11-15 09:44

      @Gift - I disagree - this will still be the downfall of the Govt. There is no way they can continue with corruption when most of the population is against them on this. E-Tolls will still be known as SA's "Arab Spring' -

      GregGow1234 - 2012-11-15 10:06

      @Gift Just support COSATU

  • stuart.valk - 2012-11-15 07:40

    With COSATU on this one. Does not seem that reasonable and structured negotians are working.

      beverly.young3 - 2012-11-15 08:07


  • daryn.varney - 2012-11-15 07:44

    Almost completed?? Has anyone tried driving on the N12 lately, from just after Jet Park road it is a nightmare.Lanes merge, , no sign of any readiness, the onramp to the N12 EAST from the R21 North has been removed and not repaired for well over 2(possibly even 3) years. The Atlas road bridge is in total chaos, the lights are out 90% of the time. ,,|,, is my view on this for SANRAL

  • clive.kihn - 2012-11-15 07:44

    Let's keep it civil, please Cosatu, unlike the anarchy you are visiting on the Winelands.

      aniken.vader.31 - 2012-11-15 09:07

      actually for ONCE I wish that the violence errupts on THIS one! THIS is the worst that is hapenning to ALL south africans! stones and bricks anyone?

      mrova.blaza - 2012-11-15 09:41

      Sometimes it is necessary to fight in order to have peace.

  • saintbruce.bruce - 2012-11-15 07:45

    Worst idea. This is exactly what SANRAL and their personal Police force want. Trust COSATU to take a route of action that is inevitable to lead to violence!! The best protest is to vote with your wallet. Don't buy an e-Tag Don't use the road Don't sign a contract Don't give up your rights Economically crash this system and force SANRAL to give up. Disobedience will play into their hands and is not practical at this stage of the fight. Everyone has the right to take SANRAL to court if you think there is fraud or corruption going on. Help OUTA take these bullies on with one 'cap' donation of R 550. COSATU don't seem to have many working brain cells and just react emotively. Use calm, reason and proper action and the citizens will win.

      kenpeg.dawson - 2012-11-15 07:52

      I agree Bruce. If we all start acting like the oxymorons we bash on a daily basis we are stooping to their level. Financial disobedience they will feel they dont have to see it as well.

      dewalds3 - 2012-11-15 07:56

      Do it your way and let Cosatu and others do it their way.

      John Camp - 2012-11-15 08:32

      i agree, DONT buy an eTag, if a few don't buy, it's our problem however if nobody buys, its their problem

      aniken.vader.31 - 2012-11-15 09:08

      for those that bought - try not to use the highways so that they cannot charge you! Then for how long can they survive without funds?

      GregGow1234 - 2012-11-15 10:12

      @saintbruce.bruce That is a bit of a self wash your hands attitude, so far talking has not worked and action is now needed. The legal fees climb and no one benefits except for the lawyers.

      saintbruce.bruce - 2012-11-15 11:42

      Greg - in Spain the resession has forced folks not to use the e-Toll system placed there a few years ago [ each section is a privatised business] and these are now effectively bankrupt due to insufficient use of the roads. If we simply start out not using the tolled roads, SANRAL will have to go back to the drawing board for a different funding model. Siding with a silly violent Union movement allied to the State causing this rucus is not a civilised approach. There may be a time for that later. My choice is to avoid sigining any contract, buying any tag or using the road until my democratic right to be heard is afforded to me and my fellow road users in Gauteng. I am voting with my wallet and it stays closed as far as e-Tolls is concerned!. Watch , if we accept this bullying all the tolls will be changed over and toll operators will loose their jobs on the peri-urban and rural routes. But if you have some Cortex explosive rope available and want to demolish the gantries, I won't stop you. If the RFA organise all their members trucks to block entry and exit ramps to all GFIP roads for a week or so, I won't stop them but use the side roads with my wallet firmly closed. make your choices and stick to them. Stick it to SANRAL any way you wish. Live with that.

  • collet.letsoalo - 2012-11-15 07:45

    This is poor governance, trying to take money from the bulk of citizens to give to a few millionaires.

  • Martha1234 - 2012-11-15 07:46

    Count me in!

  • malcolm.stevens.129 - 2012-11-15 07:49

    I don't appreciate a call for "CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE" To me this sounds like a call to run through the streets, smashing windows, burning cars, looting stores - basically what we see from every Cosatu march.

      mark.singh.9889 - 2012-11-15 08:02

      Well said Malcolm. Every one seems to be jumping on the COSATU bandwagon because they oppose the toll. We know how these prostest actions can turn ugly and to support that is criminal.

  • Gary.desousa7 - 2012-11-15 07:51

    The priciple is wrong so on that basis I would support Cosatu on this,maybe the total civil disobediance of the majority not paying will swamp the system?

  • JohnDough - 2012-11-15 07:54

    A traditional weapon such as an angle grinder is more than welcome.

      beverly.young3 - 2012-11-15 08:08

      Oh you are so funny!!!

      heathway.master - 2012-11-15 14:55

      Not just funny but hilarious

  • dewalds3 - 2012-11-15 07:55

    My old shoes (with shoe laces tied together) is going to look just SO GOOD swinging from certain gantries. LOL - wonder what 10 000 sets of shoes will look like?

  • dericslab - 2012-11-15 07:56

    I agree with Cosatu for a change...

  • tiaan.vanderberg.75 - 2012-11-15 07:58

    I am not going to get an etag. Neither wil I pay the etoll. Soon Government will announce that all those who are in arrears will get a rebate or discount. Just like the Vat, rates and taxes and traffic fines. Their is no insentive in this country to be civil obedient. It is only the civil obedient that get incentivized. But what the hell, if this is what you have to do to keep your constituency happy, why not.

      mrova.blaza - 2012-11-15 09:42

      unfortunately you are correct.

  • nathan.g.moss - 2012-11-15 08:02

    I hate E-Tolls so much that I would support anyone who was campaigning to have them scraped. Even if Malema stood up and asked them to be scraped I would be the first one to shout Viva Juba viva.

  • debduplessis - 2012-11-15 08:05

    "Do the right thing. Postpone it and listen to the people." .... the ANC must LEARN to listen to all people of RSA including their voters --- we have all said "NO"!!! I support this action against thieving, bull-dozing, knifing, corrupt & unrealistic "Government decisions" only being made by one party who does NOT have the mandate to do so - these decisions are only being made for personal enrichment which is an abuse of office position!! In any other democratic country, people are fired for making their own personal decisions where is detrimental to the citizens of that country!!! Where did our DEMOCRACY go??? We NEVER voted it out!!! This "Government" is an embarrassment to us all!!

  • andy.pipkin.5458 - 2012-11-15 08:09

    Like the last one where a hand full of people, a couple of bikers and a caravan turned up?

      alan.gernet - 2012-11-15 08:35

      that was the FF, and the police made them disperse at the meeting point before it all started. If Cosatu orchestrates this one, it will be the mother of all fu's on the highways. Even the blue light brigade will have to use 'alternative' routes (ifthey can find some!)

  • Montagnes.Bleues - 2012-11-15 08:15

    WHERE ARE THE "GO TO JAIL" ZUMA TAPES? get these tapes and there will be no eTolls. Build our Future

  • Tebz001 - 2012-11-15 08:19

    Why is Cosatu fighting for alternative routes. Their fight should be about stopping this whole thing. No tariffs negotiations, no alternative route, just scrap those things. No to e-toll!

  • DrGonzoSA - 2012-11-15 08:22

    Will we ever know who got the tenders for e-tolls? I suspect if we knew who has enriched themselves then this protest would have total support.

  • maokeng.mankge - 2012-11-15 08:23

    Vavi is a two timing coward on the other hand he supports ANC but claim to be against.m going to work Vavi need to sort himself 1st..Dis piece of jerk making ppl fools

  • tim.brink.1238 - 2012-11-15 08:26

    Peace-full and I am in!

  • maokeng.mankge - 2012-11-15 08:31

    Where was COSATU when ANC demolish houses in lenasia,Why is COSATU not question SISULU travel expense,When is COSATU gonna challenge the 238mil of building Zoom`s house..How are we suppose to trust COSATU opportunist..

  • lekgwakgwa.mohlatlole - 2012-11-15 08:34

    Cosatu must stop act as a politician's the must protect workers because we can see more jobs losses if the e-tolling start to work next year.South Africa we have so many toll why Gauteng must have so many e-toll rich and poor the will stop going to the shopping centers the like.

  • phoofolo.lebohang - 2012-11-15 08:35

    Lets vote for a party which its suit to rule this nation...

  • Ponkie Diel - 2012-11-15 08:38

    Time to let the Banana Republic BURN!

  • zackdb - 2012-11-15 08:43

    "government has already contributed R5.75bn to the project" NO taxpayers contributed R5.75bn. Why do we need to pay more than once for something. We already pay tax, we already pay when we get petrol, why do we need to pay again.

  • mshiniboys - 2012-11-15 08:45

    Cosatu is in alliance with the ANC and I think this is just one of those political stunts between the two going to Mangaung.The ANC is losing members but when Cosatu gains support it will still spell a gain to the ANC because people who support Cosatu automatically support the ANC.

  • mullervince - 2012-11-15 08:45

    Me and everyone I knows will support Cosatu on this one.(Including all our workers, and they can toy toy and destruct) No to communist, one eyed policies. And by the way, the so-called new roads are just as bad as the old ones was. Lets show the ANC real resistance.

  • skhumba.mvi - 2012-11-15 08:50

    The same Cosatu is calling for 2nd term.....mxm, It is that 2nd term that brings E-TOLLS, and they want to fool us as if they are in solidarity with the consumers, while they sleep in one blanket with Government....COSATU must stop fooling the poor citizens of this country, by the way Motorists know better than you COSATU......just get a life, only fools will march with you.......What happened to Labour Brokers?? Why people were killed in Marikana?? - AND COSATU was there all the time.....siding with the Human Slaughtering Government.

  • firmsly.kabelo - 2012-11-15 08:54

    I agree that no one should buy e-tags. But I dont trust COSATU,they're calling for continuity of Corruption,Fraud,Maladministration and misuse of tax payers money. How can they support such continuity?

  • gandanga.tororo - 2012-11-15 08:57

    Go after the 'head' of GOV & I will be with you!

  • mark.higgens.9 - 2012-11-15 09:01

    I would not mind been part of a 'peaceful' protest, but like any other protest arranged by Cosatu, this will probably turn violent and with stones been thrown, cars been burnt (rather burn the gantries)etc...

  • Forgotten - 2012-11-15 09:11

    Lets do this thing!! Lets show the government they can't force silly taxing on us!!! We pay enough tax!!!

  • kenny.kwenamore - 2012-11-15 09:12

    Civil disobedience - Satyagraha is the way the only way to go. If they want to toll roads they must find money elsewhere to build their own roads from scratch. God what have we done to deserve this? SANRAL se gat

  • flysouth - 2012-11-15 09:12

    These public meetings appear to have only one purpose - and it is not consultation! They seem to be mere opportunities for SANRAL to tell us a bit more about how they intend to shaft us all and then we are expected to politely ask questions as to the exact manner of such shafting! Not a chance in hell, SANRAL - we will be telling YOU at the Sunninghill meeting tonight - long and loud!

  • guy.rice - 2012-11-15 09:12

    e-Tolling is not transparent and the public are unable to make any assessment of it while Sanral is not willing to make public the agreement with ETC. These talks are a sham! We close our petition on Thursday 15th for SANRAL to publically make available the contract with ETC. Help us get 1000 signatures

  • wendy.burrows.71 - 2012-11-15 09:42

    my recommendation to the government for payment of roads, take back the R250 million spent on Zumaville and pay it with that and shove the toll gates where the sun dont shine

  • darren.putter - 2012-11-15 09:42

    I am going to cover my car with banners on the 30th for SANRAL to read,get your cameras ready SCAMRAL and take note of message!

      wendy.burrows.71 - 2012-11-15 09:51

      I think tol se hol should be suitable

  • roma.arends - 2012-11-15 09:48

    if the e-tolling fail in other country's why do they think if will work in South Africa. the moto use the roads and don't pay if the majority don't pay this will fail let us make it fail

  • GregGow1234 - 2012-11-15 10:03

    I am with you all the way and I will even take leave to block a highway where I can

  • martin.brink.965 - 2012-11-15 10:07

    Great, we get ready to protest a valid point and the communists defeat the action by linking something else to it. Shoot yourself in the foot often?

  • ashley.stroebel - 2012-11-15 10:09

    You go boyS!!!!

  • nosiphom.mazibuko - 2012-11-15 10:25

    Here's my contribution - (1) we should stage a blockade once a mnonth from the day of implementation until they back down. (2) Do not buy e-tags and do not pay, the system will crumble on its weight. They will not be able to enforce, they do not have the capcity and they will never have it. They cannot hire and maintain 100's of 1000's of traffic police to pull us over ofr non-payment. Like AARTO they will get tired of the damin of sending registered letters (invoices) and will use invalid normal mail

  • heinrich.etsebeth - 2012-11-15 10:26

    Quick question. If government has already given 25% of the costs of GFIP amounting to R5.75bil to SANRAL then why oh why can't they do the same for the next 4 years. Problem solved. Less money for them to steal but at least the debt will be paid in full within 4 years. To be honest they can even stretch that over 10 years, which should be the lifespan of a freeway in any case.

  • Mpotsiseng - 2012-11-15 10:55

    There will be anarchy, they will go into deeper debt trying to repair the damage on the tolls...

  • Hemlock - 2012-11-15 11:24

    Insaneral and cANCer.....far more appropriate names!

  • gideon.walt - 2012-11-15 11:25

    Mandela was a terrorist and bombed sh*t he didn't believe in and look at him now!! Viva le Resistance

  • marc.a.webb.14 - 2012-11-15 11:32

    My Padkos and sufficient refreshments are in the boot cannot wait to get some rest and relaxation sitting in my car near a toll boom.But sadly this will never happen because we never stick together on issues that effect us we rather give in and pay...