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Cosatu's drive-slow underway

Ekurhuleni routes which will be affected include Heidelberg Road, the N3, R24, N12 and the R21.

Cosatu's drive-slow against e-tolls on Joburg's east rand on Friday 31 May 2013. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Cosatu's drive-slow against e-tolling is continuing down the N3 Highway.

Protestors left Katlehong township earlier in protest against the controversial tolling system.

The trade union federation is planning to block major routes.

With only two lanes reserved for the protest outside of peak traffic, it's close to business as usual on the highways.

Some passing vehicles have hooted in support of the protest but so far there haven't been any real additions to the contingent from the public.

The trade union federation is planning to block traffic on major Ekurhuleni routes which include Heidelberg Road, the N3, R24, N12 and the R21.

Cosatu had to cancel a protest last week after a Gauteng court refused to overturn a decision taken by the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) that the protest was illegal.

But now, armed with an urgent court interdict, protestors are slowly gathering in the Katlehong township while a massive contingent of metro police prepares to escort them.

Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department's (EMPD) Wilfred Kgasago said, "We'll all be out there in full force. The aim is to make sure that everybody is safe."

It remains unclear how much support Cosatu will secure.

Meanwhile, the Opposition To Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) said justice prevailed with a court granted Cosatu permission for the drive-slow.

Outa's Wayne Duvenage said, "The judge has ruled in favour of Cosatu to be able to express themselves and people can see the impact that freedom of expression has on this emotive topic."

Cosatu's Dumisani Dakile said they would get as many people as possible to take participate.

"We'll have to work overnight to make sure we've prepared our forces."

Government is on the verge of launching e-tolling while a court challenge against the controversial system continues.