Vavi: E-toll victory in sight

The Cosatu general secretary says the panel is the beginning of the end for the controversial system.

Cosatu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi on Friday said he can now smell victory in the fight against Gauteng e-tolls.

This after Gauteng Premier David Makhura unveiled plans to establish a panel to investigate the controversial project's impact on the province.

The premier made the announcement during his inaugural State of the Province Address (Sopa) in Thokoza, south of Johannesburg, on Friday morning.

He also said he wanted the panel to take submissions from the public to find a lasting solution to the matter.

Vavi says this is clearly the beginning of the end for e-tolls.

"The people of Gauteng have made their views quite clear that they aren't prepared to cooperate with a system that is making them poorer every day."

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa)'s Wayne Duvenage says this could be a big gamble for Makhura.

"I think his political reputation, if he does it right, is going to gain immensely because this is the breadbasket of South Africa."

The original decision to toll Gauteng's highways was taken by Cabinet.

This means he may may have to convince national government to scrap the system.

Makhura previously appeared to be opposed to e-tolls before he became premier.

The controversial system went live on 3 December after months of legal wranglings, protests and calls for civil disobedience.