Cosatu ready for e-tolls protest

Cosatu says it hopes to send message to government that e-tolls will not work.

Cosatu embarks on a drive slow around the Pretoria CBD in protestation against e-tolls.

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) says it hopes its latest series of protests sends a clear message to government that e-tolls will not work.

Hundreds of people are expected to embark on a drive-slow on the M1 North, N1 South And M2 North highways in Gauteng on Friday.

The trade union federation's Dumisani Dakile says it is all systems go.

"Those who can join us must do so on Friday. It will be a form of action to highlight to the government that this system is unacceptable and it does not support all sectors of the community."

The trade union federation will also protest against the use of labour brokers.

Cosatu held unsuccessful talks with both the Gauteng and national governments in an attempt to persuade them to ban labour brokers and scrap e-tolls.

This was after the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) said it was ready to turn on the gantries in July.

Last Tuesday, Dakile announced the trade union federation were mobilising members and communities for two mass demonstrations at the end of May.

He said more protests could take place in June.

"We are in discussions about what more we can do in June. It might also involve a night vigil at Sanral offices."

Government continues to defend the controversial project, saying it will be impossible to build and maintain roads without the money which is due to be collected through tariffs.

A bill, which will allow tariffs to be collected, is moving through Parliament and is expected to be signed into law soon.

At the same time, a court battle over e-tolling in Gauteng will be heard later this year.

If the controversial system is implemented, motorists will pay at least 30 cents per kilometre to use a large stretch of provincial highways