Cosatu: We won’t accept e-tolls

Cosatu is adamant it will carry out more demonstrations if government doesn’t abandon e-tolling.

Gauteng motorists took part in a drive-slow against the implementation of e-tolls on 11 February 2013. Picture: Theo Nkonki/EWN

PRETORIA - Cosatu on Monday said its drive slow through Pretoria should warn the government if it plans to continue with its plans to launch e-tolling in Gauteng.

Members of the federation drove through the city centre and M1 highway at a snails' pace on Monday which disrupted traffic on major roads.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions said the country and Africa's economic hub could face more interruptions if the project continued.

Although the drive slow by Cosatu was not well attended, its impact could be felt by motorists who had to wait in grid-locked traffic for more than two hours.

But Cosatu sent a clear message to government, shouting slogans such as "Down with e-toll, down!" while holding placards reading similar messages.

Although many road users supported the protest, some said the effects of the drive slow were unbearable.

One woman said, "This time of the day, every one is frustrated and wants to go home."

Cosatu is adamant it will carry out more demonstrations of this nature if government doesn't abandon the e-toll system.

LEGAL E-TOLL BATTLE CONTINUES

In January, the North Gauteng High Court granted the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) leave to appeal its earlier judgment, which went in favour of government and the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral).

The legal battle is now headed to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

And although e-tolling is being held up by a bill before Parliament, the project can launch before this legal fight is resolved.

Under the controversial project, Gauteng road users will be expected to pay to use a large stretch of the province's highways.