Make e-tolling unworkable: Cosatu

2012-04-26 16:30

Johannesburg – Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi urged all members of the public not to buy e-tags in order to make the whole system unworkable.

Cosatu has postponed its general strike against e-tolling, pending the outcome of a court action and its meeting with the ruling party on the matter.

Other mass action planned for April 30, including a highway blockade in Johannesburg, would however go ahead, Vavi told reporters in Johannesburg on Thursday.

The delay in the strike was to give the union federation time to assess the success of resistance to e-tolling, "and any future legal action that Cosatu or others may take".

The strike was initially planned for Monday when e-tolling on Gauteng's freeways was scheduled to start.

A civil society coalition, the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance, had launched a court action to prevent the SA National Roads Agency Ltd from introducing tolling as planned.

Vavi told reporters after a special meeting of Cosatu's executive that the blockade of four tollgates in Middelburg and Nkomazi in Mpumulanga would form part of the April 30 mass action.

Make it unworkable

In North West, a demonstration was being planned at the Swartruggens plaza.

On May 1, in Cape Town, a march would take place from the Good Hope Centre to the Cape Chamber of Commerce.

Cosatu and the African National Congress would meet later on Thursday to discuss the tolls. Vavi said Cosatu's executive was opposed to the "commodification" of South Africa's public road network.

"This will represent a huge additional burden on all motorists, but particularly on workers, who have no choice but to use their cars to get to and from work because of the lack of a reliable and safe public transport system."

He said Cosatu's entire central executive committee was united against e-tolling.

"I am urging all members of the public not to buy e-tags. Make the whole system unworkable."

Vavi said Sanral had no way of enforcing the e-toll system.

The right to strike

"They will not be able to stop our cars. They are not police officers... This whole thing is a mess."

Cosatu's leadership also reiterated support for the demand that labour broking be banned. Amendments to labour legislation would allow this "super exploitation" of workers to continue for six months, but this was six months too long, Vavi said.

The movement would be "engaging vigorously" to defeat other labour law amendments, which Vavi described as the greatest threat to the right to strike since apartheid.

"We fought hard to win the right to strike to be included in the Constitution of our new democratic country... and we will not surrender this victory."

Should the amendments be passed, union members would have to vote in favour of a strike before it could go ahead. He rejected attempts to outlaw sympathy strikes. The government was also considering a proposal that all state employees be labelled essential service workers, which would prevent them from striking.

Toothless dogs

"If passed, this would reduce our public service unions to toothless dogs, able to bark, but never to bite," he said.

The excuse for these measures was apparently violence during strikes. But the majority of Cosatu's strikes were peaceful ones, and it would not be fair to hold unions responsible for illegal action by individuals near union activity, he claimed.

Referring to the teachers' strike in the Eastern Cape at the beginning of the year, despite abysmal matric results, Vavi said teachers had committed to the government's basic education plans. T

hey had also undertaken to work extra hours. Banning every other teacher from ever striking, because of one incident, would be wrong, he said.

In addition, by weakening the power of labour unions, the government ran the risk of encouraging unprotected strikes. These were associated with greater violence, said Vavi.

Cosatu's leadership condemned the leaking of its internal discussion papers to the media, blaming it on factions in its ranks. This process caused immeasurable damage to Cosatu's internal unity and its relationship with allies, although Cosatu had not entertained leadership debates.

"It is not true that its president is pro the second term and general secretary is anti second term for this and that leader," he said.

  • Gregory - 2012-04-26 15:27

      Squeegee - 2012-04-26 15:51


      wbrummer1989 - 2012-04-26 15:56

      We will not Suport the E-Toll !!!!!!

      Tony - 2012-04-26 16:12

      What if you get a "mud splat" on your number plates - is that illegal?

      James - 2012-04-26 17:20

      Gregory, problem with ghostplates is that if you're caught with it on your numberplate it's a R 2 000 fine, if memory serves me right.They are really obvious, as a cop in another lane will immediately see your numberplate is obscured. It will be very obvious to only have mud on your numberplate Tony, and this is a very old and yes illegal trick the cops are very used to. I had "numberplate protectors" on my car a few years back, but took them off because I got caught in a roadblock, couldn't figure out if they worked thou.

      clinton.bowden1 - 2012-04-26 17:55

      @James, Fair enough comment but then when ever do we see cops in the other lane? They don't police moving violations other than sitting on the side of the road with the camera

      Altyd - 2012-04-26 19:22

      Mark my words, come 1st of May there will be plenty of traffic\metro officers at offramps checking number plates etc.

      Zing - 2012-04-26 20:44

      I had those ghostplates on long ago. They do work, but a traffic cop spotted them and pulled me over. Gave me the option to destroy them in front of him, or else he arrests me for obstruction of justice and takes them as evidence. I destroyed them, of course. I think I got off lightly. Lose the idea of fake numberplates. Just withhold your e-toll payments until you have seen all the invoices, and all the proof that you were in fact on those roads. DO NOT BUY AN E-TAG!

  • ntunjab - 2012-04-26 15:36

    Hahaha never trust Cosatu, coz they are alliend wit these cronies \ANC\. We should be prepared to fight this battle alone

      Sharon - 2012-04-26 17:02

      They certainly blow hot and cold! They need to decide which side of the fence they are on..

      Johnathon - 2012-04-26 23:55

      Hens have finally come home to roost for SANRAL & ANC hopefully. Arrogant an autocratic Government convinced it could simply legislate e-tolling into being, with punitive criminal action against defaulters. This has been the proudest moment I have ever felt as a SA citizen. For the first time the entire country : Black, Indian, Coloured, Chinese, White, have all stood together with a unified resolve, to tell this corrupt, incompetent, tax blowing Government, to finally go to hell. No more taxes you greedy bullies. If you just stopped pissing all public money into personal gratification and self enrichment, there will be far more than enough money, to address most of the countries social problems.

  • Tuco - 2012-04-26 15:43

    Said it before in another related article. cosatu is nothing more than the ANC's biaatch and like the ANC they will tell the public what they want to hear. they pretend to be on our side and yet behind closed doors everybody knows what really happens between ANC and cosatu. #### you scumral #### you ANC govt #### you Cosatu I'm still not buying that stupid tag

  • Kabelo - 2012-04-26 15:49

    We a pay our money to this . I am still thinking of a name to call this union . Know they a telling us about ANC to hell with COSATU.

  • Bongani - 2012-04-26 15:56

    i would like to know Mr Vavi who are the beneficiaries of dividends that you get from companies that you have shares in? i know you own 3% of the company that was building the Gauteng roads, that simple means cosatu will get a dividend from this. How the money distributed back to work as you claim you represent workers. I have never heard Cosatu building or helping poor workers with wheelchairs or something. You get membership subscriptions every month and that should be enough for your salaries and overheads. Reply please

      SaintBruce - 2012-04-26 17:40

      COSATU got their money already for the road. However, they are not getting any money from the Toll system - maybe THAT'S their real beef at missing out on the pot of tax payer gold at the end of the FREEway??? Question is - who is to get the pot, really?

  • Noluntu - 2012-04-26 16:45

    Yeah right Vavi. After you cancelled the strike is that the only b#%^ u can come up with?!!

      Rethabile - 2012-04-26 16:54

      Noluntu u must listen to news u wouldn't be saying this if u were paying attention to news,there are reasons for a strikes to be stop yesterday.

  • Rethabile - 2012-04-26 16:46

    u guys probably have money to pay for this,but some people dont so go ahead and buy the tag u'll feel the pain as time goes on. 'Viva comrade Vavi'

  • Francois - 2012-04-26 16:49

    @Tony, good luck convincing a R5 touting oaf who is out to get you.

  • Shirley - 2012-04-26 16:51

    Dont trust a union man-theres always a catch and a fat reward for him at the end of the day!

  • Rob - 2012-04-26 16:58

    Populist actor or Next President......???????

  • dentamokhabz - 2012-04-26 17:03

    The only way to make government listen to its people

  • Michael - 2012-04-26 17:09

    For some reasone Cosato is campaigning every single thing the AnC does, but election time, they tell they voters to vote ANC. I DONT have any respect for Cosatu anymore.

  • George - 2012-04-26 17:51

    Trust your instincts. DO NOT REGISTER, NO E_TAG, DON'T PAY FOR WHAT IS ALREADY YOURS. The constitution guarantees freedom of movement. Defend the constitution with your actions and move freely on the FREEWAY.

  • George - 2012-04-26 17:56

    Very impressed with OUTA's legal team Cockrill and Franklin demolished SCAMRAL with facts, not threats, not force. Judge Bill asked the right questions. Now, can he reach the right conclusion?

  • Daan - 2012-04-26 17:57

    Kom ons werk vir een keer SAAM met COSSATO ?!!!!!

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-04-26 18:17

    It is the people who stand against E-tolling and not COSATU that leads the people against E-tolling, just remember this Even though COSATU stands with the people does not give COSATU the right to negotiate for the people or command the people. Power is the people, unity is greater than strength, viva the people!

      Eish - 2012-04-26 20:02

      very good point sir! COSATU doesn't have any mandate from the people of this country to negotiate with the ANC political party OR the government. It only has a mandate from its members/members of its unions. That said, how strange that it is with the ANC that discussions are held, and not with government. This reeks of political games being played possibly(when is it ever not) at the peoples' expense. Don't trust COSATU!

  • Jayson - 2012-04-26 18:23

    Cosatu says make it unworkable, I'm 100% behind that. But my middle finger is working perfect. So up yours SCAMRAL.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-04-26 18:24

    There is no problem working with COSATU but it is every persons obligation to ensure that they are not led by the nose, and then sold down the road. COSATU even though they appear to be aligned with the people is also allied to the ANC and may only be serving to muddy the waters. The people started this and it is the people who have unified against this e-tolling and it should be the people who finish this, with or without COSATU. COSATU leadership has only a mandate to stand with it's members, they have no choice but they are not mandated to broker any agreement for the people of South Africa who stand united by majority in scrapping this e-tolling fiasco.

  • sfisopdlamini.dlamini - 2012-04-26 18:56

    Is COSATU really fightung for the poor or pretending to be fighting for the poor? I say this because COSATU will be requesting the public to buy the e-toll ticket before long. The government will reduce the price by 2cent and COSATU will come to us and say they have fought for us so we must consider to accept the government offer because this offer makes sense. So at the end the e-toll will be implemented and we are going to pay.

      aiazmir - 2012-04-26 22:09

      You;re a pretty smart man.

      Martin - 2012-04-28 12:03

      Who s fooling who cosatu o sanral

  • Nikki Bodenstein - 2012-04-27 01:12

    Haha like you really have to ask our people, lol!!!! I don't think half of them were planning on paying anyway. Soon they'll be climbing up, stealing the cameras etc. just another day in SA

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-04-27 10:46

    Viva! Viva! ZHelenzuma Vavi! Viva!

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