Fight to scrap e-tolls continues

2012-05-01 23:03

Cape Town - The fight against toll roads was the hot topic on Workers Day on Tuesday as Cosatu and the SA Communist Party promised to step up their campaign against the government's plan to implement an e-tolling system in Gauteng.

Cosatu said it would continue its fight against the e-tolling project until the tolls had "finally been scrapped".

Spokesperson Patrick Craven said in the federation's Workers' Day statement that the postponement of the R20bn e-toll project was "a direct product of the workers' power and sacrifices".

"We call upon government rather to prioritise the roll-out of efficient, reliable, affordable and safe public transport for all the people of South Africa," Craven said.

"Our campaign goes on until these tolls have been finally scrapped."

Existing toll fares

Craven said the federation would also take up issues about the existing toll gates "whose prices are forever on the rise".

People around Zeerust were paying R71 for driving through the Swartruggens toll gate and R40 for only travelling 80km in the Middleburg area.

"Tolling forces drivers to pay huge amounts of extra money just to travel on the province's previously free highways," Craven said.

"Consumers face massive price increases as a result of the extra cost of transporting goods to the shops being passed on to the shoppers," Craven said.

He said Gauteng's toll road project, which was postponed on Saturday after the North Gauteng High Court granted an interdict against the SA National Roads Agency Limited - after an application by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance group was put on hold when Cosatu held discussions with the ANC.

"We are happy to announce that in our discussions with the ANC we agreed that we must postpone the implementation of the e-tolls in Gauteng for a month whilst we work on alternative funding methods," Craven said.

"This is a direct product of the workers' power and sacrifices."

The federation also took aim at labour brokers comparing them to "human traffickers" who were making huge profits.

"Cosatu demands that labour brokers must be completely banned.

"They are nothing more than human traffickers, making huge profits by hiring out workers to their client companies as if we are no more than commodities like office furniture or stationery," Craven said.

Unite to fight tolls - SACP

The SA Communist Party urged the tripartite alliance to unite in the fight against toll highways to avoid abandoning the issue to "essentially right-wing, middle-class interest groups".

The party said in a May Day statement on Tuesday that there was a risk that the e-tolling issues could be hijacked by DA, AfriForum and the Automobile Association.

"The delay gives us some more space as the tripartite alliance to find a united way forward," the party said.

"It is absolutely essential that we do now unite ourselves - otherwise we will abandon this issue to the DA, AfriForum, the Automobile Association and other essentially right-wing, middle-class interest groups."

The SACP also took aim at labour brokers, comparing them to "modern day slave-traders".

At a workers day rally at Botshabelo stadium in the Free State President Jacob Zuma called for unity within the tripartite alliance.

He told a modest crowd that the alliance had a huge task of creating unity within its individual partners.

"We have a huge task of the alliance. There are those against us working hard so that we do not achieve success," he said.

Zuma also urged the different leaders of the alliance to be clear on contentious issues so there was no uncertainty amongst their members.

In its Workers Day statement the ANC saluted workers for their role in developing and sustaining the economy and for their part in South Africa's liberation.

"South African workers have distinguished themselves within the hundred years of the existence of the ANC as a significant partner in the struggle for liberation and development," the ruling party said in a statement.

"Their progressive and revolutionary outlook has been key in defining the parameters and content of our struggle."

Creating more jobs

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille meanwhile accused Cosatu of working against the interests of the unemployed and stalling the effort to bring jobs.

In a speech prepared for delivery at a DA Workers Day event in Midvaal, Gauteng, she said the trade union federation was stuck in a 1950s British model of "hostile central bargaining".

It was the only organisation in South Africa that was refusing to take part in programmes to end unemployment.

"Cosatu, which played such a pivotal role in creating South Africa's democracy, runs the risk of being left behind if it remains stuck in the 1950s British model of hostile central bargaining between 'bosses and workers'," Zille said.

"Tragically, Cosatu (alone among the trade union federations) is working against the interests of the unemployed, keeping them permanently locked out, and stalling the effort to bring jobs, redress and reconciliation to our society."

Countries with growing economies and growing employment had outgrown the 'zero-sum' model where one side's gain was the other side's loss, she said.

"To create more jobs we need more people who will invest capital and skills, who will take investment risks to open factories and to start businesses, thus creating more jobs," she said.

Trade union Solidarity said workers should become part of a culture of life-long learning to improve their skills and increase their income.

"This year employees should not only ask for double-figure increases; they should aspire to doubling their salaries through improved skills," Solidarity said in a Workers' Day statement.

"We believe that trade unions' new strategic role in South Africa should be to make members more employable by improving their skills.

"This is the best route to job security in South Africa," Buys said.

  • bernpm - 2012-05-01 23:14

    In another news message, we read: "Botshabelo - The Congress of SA Trade Unions and the SA Communist Party are not teaming up against its alliance partner the ANC, Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said on Tuesday." ja,ja

      Koos - 2012-05-02 02:34

      only untill they realise that the gravy we stop when the ancESTORS are kicked out.

      Pieter - 2012-05-02 05:39

      That is correct, according to the the SACP the ANC, Cosatu and SACP should unite to fight against the toll highways that the Government introduced. Huh?

      Ruan - 2012-05-02 06:49

      What do we pay taxes and annual license fees on our vehicles for ???????? Stop the anc's lavish lifestyles and looting of the coffers,why do we have to suffer with fuel increases and toll gates,remember government you work for us and we decide who works for us...nobody will have economic freedom at this rate,,,idiots.

  • thomas.robbertse - 2012-05-01 23:15

    Agreed, enough is enough! Let's clean out the gravy train and make South Africa a better place for all our citizens! Starting with the tolling systems....

  • Hat3d - 2012-05-01 23:19

    I have to say that today I am proud to say I am South African, to see so many Black, White and Purple... stand together against... but remember the fight continues and I hope that for the children that when the 'Secrecy Bill' hits court we all continue to stand together...

      Musawenkosi - 2012-05-02 06:57

      This is a start, next time people will come together and vote for somebody who will deliver and who will account. Viva united South Africa.

      Mattewis - 2012-05-02 07:23

      @Musawenkosi Who will this be, in your opinion? Every time "the people" just vote for the ANC again, and even increase their margin of victory! This in the thick of nationwide violent municipal service delivery strikes, the likes of which had Andries Tatane brutally killed! Excuse my skepticism, but IMO you don't know what you're talking about.

  • rickvcooper - 2012-05-02 00:08

    I think we should fight to scrap this filthy government altogether.

  • Lauden Kirk - 2012-05-02 01:16

    9% on car loan 14% vat 20% loan high petrol 20 to 40% tax please calculate this with and with out all your other expenses with 3rd grade service. Paying first class getting 3rd class then setting up 1st world control systems to control 3rd class living. God please do justice

  • George - 2012-05-02 03:28

    What happened was some well motivated true South Africans (OUTA) got together and because their cause was just and proper attracted millions of other real SA men and women who acted in opposition to SCAMRAL and corruption in general. Its called civil disobedience. ANC are busy becoming history by their own hand..SACP is history.

  • Zighom - 2012-05-02 04:39

    Talk of hijacking an agenda. Ddnt they see this thing must be fought all along?

  • patnoah - 2012-05-02 05:20

    A lot of organisations have been on and off the anti-e-toll bandwagon,when it got close to D-Day they magically had nothing to say if that judge didnt step in because of 1 organisation:OUTA,we would have been turned into another \Russia\,where people were told what to do by a communist gov whose decisions only benefit the gov themselves!I don't think not 1 of those political organisation were behind thd public (OUTA)but would use any means possible to score points with the public in general when a \public positive\ situation arises!I'm not a millionaire or even a thousandaire,and if e-tolls were allowed to proceed \Russian style\ we would have all become slaves to government who when it comes to money making schemes eg:PETROL,say what they want and we \MUST\ follow their ruling!Why cant people stand together like pre-ANC gov days the way apartheid was protested against?People I'm afraid to say have believed the \DREAM\ of what the ANC stood for and not had a look backstage to see the \driver\ of a bus painted with promises on the outside and filled with greed on the inside.(ps HAWKS if your'll reading this your'll know where I live and work)

  • Burtfred - 2012-05-02 05:53

    The deputy minister of transport, Jeremy Cronin, should resign either from the cabinet or from the SACP. He can't simultaneously run with the rabbits and hunt with the hounds.

      Musawenkosi - 2012-05-02 06:52

      Dit is so waar soos die son in die hemel staan.

  • Sechaba30 - 2012-05-02 06:12

    Lol @ SACP, loody opportunists trying to score some cheap points.

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-05-02 06:28

    The TA (Tripartite Alliance) is trying very hard to take the credit away from OUTA. This move is an essential key to break down resistance to the passing of the Secrecy Act. It serves both as a diversion as well as a mirage of caring for the people of S.A.

  • Warwick - 2012-05-02 06:33

    You commie heathens were all for the tolls last week and now you change your tune? typical communist rubbish, jumping on the band wagon. Why can't you do like communism has done in the rest of the progressing world and die? It's a doctrine more evil than National Socialism. Up the tolls, up the sacp.

  • catdarling - 2012-05-02 06:56

    The issue for me is not the tollroads themselves but the way the tolls were inplemented and the way the government is screwing this up even more. I don't mind paying but it has to be fair for all. And by telling us to \get use to it\ makes me angry. So, for now I won\t pay even if it starts today or next week or when ever.

  • Lekke - 2012-05-02 07:04

    Who gave the go-ahead to start building the E toll strucktures and now nobody wants it?

      Burtfred - 2012-05-02 08:06

      Nomvula Mokanyane, Sbu Ndebele, Jeremy Cronin, and others.

  • Johann - 2012-05-02 07:14

    "It is absolutely essential that we do now unite ourselves - otherwise we will abandon this issue to the DA, AfriForum, the Automobile Association and other essentially right-wing, middle-class interest groups." What nonsense! we are in this fight together. Whether we speak through the DA, Afriforum or "Pieter se poephol Federasie". This is the first thing that unites us as a nation that does not see color, gender or income group like the 1995 Rugby world cup and 2010 Soccer world Cup. Why not combine all parties, organizations and individuals to help you fight. You are not in this alone or as "low income earners" or previously disadvantage individuals. With E-Tolling, we are all "Currently Disadvantaged Individuals".

  • Hudayfah - 2012-05-02 07:20

    Its amazing how Zille pointed out the problem and gave a reasonable solution for it. Whilst the other anc alliance groups resorted to name calling and racism. They must be quaking in their boots. They're still trying to make it a white/black thing but its only a few falling for the joke. Come to think of it,i dont think they have a crutch to lean on if they don't use racial agendas to their advantage. They know its a touchy subject,that's why they've been exploiting it all these years. They have no shame. They are shelfish and dont mind lying to the publics' faces. Perfect recipe for destroying a nation.

  • RES.AntiPollution - 2012-05-02 08:13

    Is time to tackle the other tollgates also. Would've started a business on the N4 to Maputo long ago was it not for tolls. Lets add our voice against all tolling!!

  • david.diego.14 - 2012-05-02 09:01

    'amandla'comrate we must come together to stop all this e-tollying because our leaders they dont care about us,they take care for us when they need our vote phambili ngo 'COSATU' phambili!!!

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-05-02 09:50

    ANC and SACP : Did you not just postpone this thing up to 30 May? What was your plan after that? Did Bill throw a spanner in the works? Want to change your mind now?

  • Dudley - 2012-05-02 14:11

    If the e-tolling does not get off the ground the government has still screwed us over (again)since it is your tax money that is going to be financing this 2 billion rand balls-up. Only in Africa is such mess-ups like this tolerated by the voting masses. We get the government we deserve .... go figure !

  • Neeraj - 2012-05-02 14:53

    somebody please explain, why a political party would need to join other parties to protest against e tolls when it took the same pea brained jack asses to pass it into law in the first place! sounds like a dog trying to catch it's own tail.

  • Neeraj - 2012-05-02 15:03

    thank you to OUTA. now form a political party so i will have a reason to vote and a real party to vote for. the rest of them are just a bunch of thieves!!!

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