Bid to reinstate tolls will fail: Cosatu

2012-05-31 15:36

Johannesburg - The government's application to the Constitutional Court to set aside a court order halting e-tolling will fail, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Thursday.

"We have no doubt that the government is going to learn the hard way again with the Constitutional Court when it fails in this application," Vavi told reporters in Johannesburg.

It would likewise fail in its appeal against the judgment by the North Gauteng High Court.

"The government is wasting time running in the courts at huge expense to the taxpayers."

On April 28, the North Gauteng High Court handed down an order preventing the SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) from levying or collecting e-tolls pending the outcome of a judicial review.

Separation of powers

Last week, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan applied to the Constitutional Court to set aside this court order. Gordhan argued that Judge Bill Prinsloo had ignored the principle of separation of powers.

Vavi rejected this argument.

"In our view it's a complete false claim... that's just an attempt to blackmail the judges not to make judgments in the best interests of the law, and the supreme law of the country, which is the Constitution."

Instead of wasting time at courts, the government should be talking to the Congress of SA Trade Unions to find an alternative way to fund the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project. Cosatu has suggested, as an interim measure, a 14c/l increase in the fuel levy.

Vavi emphasised this would only be an temporary solution.

"We will not reveal what we believe should be really a long-term solution for now because that is subject to discussions with the ANC."

Just a suggestion

Vavi rejected an earlier comment by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, at a media briefing on e-tolling, that a decision taken in a meeting between the ANC and Cosatu to delay the Gauteng e-tolls by a month was just a suggestion.

"It's quite annoying... to be told that our agreement with the ruling party is a mere recommendation to the superpower, the government," Vavi said.

In April, while the High Court was hearing the e-toll arguments, the ANC and Cosatu decided to postpone implementation of the tolls.

"The ANC says it is a strategic political sector. When we engage it we engage a strategic political sector, not an NGO that can only make recommendations to the superpower, being government," Vavi said.

The ANC, chosen by a majority, was the most important player in South Africa, not the government, he argued.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said the union federation expected the ANC to have communicated the outcome of that meeting to the government.

"The actual effect of that particular discussion was indeed the announcement that was made by the ANC, not Cosatu, that we have agreed to postpone or defer the implementation of the e-tolling for 30 days," Dlamini said.

  • Vince - 2012-05-31 16:04

    What I do not understand is why Mr Vavi are making these comments about his political bedfellows!!! Why does he not just tell them to F#ck off and do his own thing!

      Charles-Bronson - 2012-05-31 17:17

      We as citizens will show the corrupted goverment we had enough and will stand up against the goverment, cANCer and scamral thiefts. Test us!!!

  • vernon.samuel.7 - 2012-05-31 16:34

    Seems to me that Mr Vavi is shaping to start his own political party soon. Only problem is that he is only a good politician when he has the might of the ANC behind him. He will fail, as sure as Lekota and Shilowa did. Sorry Zweli, but you are just a little puppy. Without the bulldog behind you, you are nothing.

      Adam - 2012-06-05 05:57

      Vernon, agree, but without cosatu the might of the anc is reduced. The anc is rapidly reducing their own might. Not to be racist, but by more interracial relationships forming low down on the food chain, people (voters) are discussing politics more freely, and this is leading to the anc voters starting to question the anc motives. I believe the next general election will reflect my view.

  • Andrew - 2012-05-31 17:18

    Another ANC bullying tactic face planting these politicians. You can try bullying newspapers, galleries and members of the ANC, but please don't think that you can bully the south African public. We've learnt from the rest of Africa. WE WILL NOT allow a dictatorship in our belovered country.

      Andrew - 2012-05-31 17:20

      ANC loses votes after a year of bullying.

  • Hudayfah - 2012-05-31 17:42

    Why does Vavi sound as if he is the president? So Zille was right when she said this idiot is gathering followers for himself. Why dont you just come out with it Vavi. I dont know who's worse, you are your puppet zuma. This can only happen in Africa where a'private' organisation rules the ruling party.

  • Mike Purchase - 2012-05-31 20:49

    Reinstate it and we will take action.

  • leonard.nel - 2012-06-02 13:34 click 'Like'

  • Joseph - 2012-06-02 15:34

    Why should the Government talk to Coastu? Vavi this country is not controlled by Cosatu and the people voted for the Government to rule.It has been a false and wishful thinking of the so called alliance that the people of South Africa has given them mandate to rule the country.On the ballot paper there was no Cosatu neither there was SACP.Your parasitic behavior would not bring any fortune to you.When the people decide otherwise there will be no story of Cosatu and the SACP.Your organisation will never derail the progress of this country.Your communistic utterances will be in your offices and thats where it ends.The ANC does not need Coastu and the SACP to win elections and no party for that matter need Cosatu or the SACP.The country will sort out the e-toll problem without Cosatu and move on.I dont think you will survive the September 'hurricane'.

  • Naicker - 2012-06-02 21:51

    Why must we not living in Gauteng pay an additonal interim fuel lvey of 14c per liter when we do not use this 185km E-toll network here in KZN. Come on Mr.Vavi, there are only 1% of the motorists in Gauteng that will use this toll and the 99% countrywide lives out og Gauteng.

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