'Drive Slow' protest underway

Cosatu's Drive Slow campaign kicksoff in the East Rand on 6 November 2012. Picture: Theo Nkonki/EWN
JOHANNESBURG/EKURHULENI - Cosatu's ‘Drive Slow’ protest against e-tolling has started.

Police are already out in full force in Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni on Thursday morning, where much of the action is expected.

Massive traffic delays are expected on all major routes in these areas.


Around least 40 people are outside Cosatu House in Braamfontein with even more police officers arriving.

The police riot unit has teamed up with both Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni police to maintain order.

One car parked near Cosatu house can be seen with a poster which reads ‘Demolish e-tolls not houses’.

A Cosatu official told Eyewitness News that despite the small turnout, more people are expected to join the protest later on.


More vehicles are joining others on the outskirts of Katlehong with protesters already mounting large speakers on their vehicles.


The trade union federation said the Ekurhuleni route will be the main focus of the protest which will affect the N3, N12, R21 and R24.

The federation’s Dumisani Dakile said the protest was initially intended to last the whole day.

“Our intention was that we probably close these roads for 24 hours.”

He said the ‘Drive Slow’ is the first of its kind in South Africa and intends to show government how far motorists are willing to go to fight e-tolling.

Another drive-slow was expected to take place in Pretoria, but it was cancelled because permission to protest was not obtained.

Dakile said in Johannesburg, the N1 north and several other roads in the city centre will be affected.

“From the M1 north to west to the N1, then south on the N1 because that is where the main gantries for the e-tolls are.”

Cosatu called on motorists to drive at 10 km per hour with their headlights and hazards on.

If the controversial system is implemented, Gauteng motorists will pay around 30 cents per kilometer to use the province’s upgraded highways.