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Cosatu warns govt. against e-tolls

Cosatu is adamant that Thursday’s ConCourt ruling does not change its position on e-tolls.

Gauteng e-tolls. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Thursday warned government not to implement the contentious Gauteng e-tolls until consultations with all stakeholders are concluded.

The federation is adamant that Thursday's Constitutional Court ruling does not change its position on the matter, saying it is still opposed to the project.

Earlier, South Africa's top court set aside an interim order which prevented the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) from rolling out e-tolls.

The ruling means the agency could theoretically start implementing system, but this is pending a full review in the North Gauteng High Court scheduled for November.

Cosatu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said the trade union was not deterred in its fight against the project.

"Our objection remains, we are opposed to the e-tolls."

Thursday's judgment was handed down by Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke.

GOVERNMENT WELCOMES RULING

Both Sanral and National Treasury approached the Constitutional Court to ask for the North Gauteng High Court interdict to be overturned.

It argued that Sanral was losing R225 million in revenue for every month that tolling was delayed.

Government also argued that the Pretoria court's ruling would have an impact on the separation of power between the executive and judiciary.

Transport Director-General George Mahlalela welcomed the latest judgement.

"We think it is an important ruling for the country. We are talking about taxpayers' money and its usage."

Mahlalela said a decision on the launch would be announced at a later date.

OUTA TO FIGHT ON

The application to halt the e-tolling project was lodged by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa), just days before the project was due to start in April.

The alliance's Wayne Duvenhage said this is not the end of the road.

"It doesn't necessarily scupper our case in the review. We are very confident with our case. The question now is, when Sanral will roll out the project."

If approved, Gauteng motorists will have to fork out at least 30 cents per kilometre to use a large part of the province's highways.

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