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'E-tolls consultations a public stunt'

Cosatu and Outa said government’s 30-day public consultations on e-tolls are a waste of time.

Toll road gantry on one of Gauteng's highways. Picture: Sapa.

PRETORIA - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) on Saturday accused government of embarking on a "charm offensive" in trying to get the public to support e-tolling in Gauteng.

On Friday, Transport Minister Ben Martins revealed new exemptions and the latest proposed tariffs, which will see a regular motorist with an e-tag pay 30 cents per kilometre to drive on Gauteng's freeways.

Public transport and certain emergency vehicles will be exempt from paying.

A 30-day public consultation process was launched on Friday.

But Cosatu Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi called the consultations a "farce".

He said government is pulling "wool over people's eyes" and a protest is now inevitable.

"Even if 30-days are used for the public to comment, it is still a farce. It is a publicity stunt."

Outa's Wayne Duvenage said the tariffs had not changed since last year.

Even if they do, citizens will still be straddled with the massive cost of collecting the fees, he said.

"What is currently happening now is far too little too late."

There is still no firm date of when the gantries around Gauteng will go live, but Martins said the tariffs are not carved in stone and might change at a later stage.

For a document explaining the new tariffs and discounts click here.