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Cosatu: E-tolling 'most immoral project' signed into law

The trade union federation has begun its presentation to motivate why the project should be scrapped.

FILE: Cosatu has begun its presentation to motivate why the project should be scrapped. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has told the Gauteng e-toll review panel that the system is the most immoral multi-billion rand project signed into law apart from the arms deal.

Interested parties have started to make their inputs while a panel appointed by Gauteng Premier David Makhura assesses the impact on motorists and the economy.

Cosatu has begun its presentation to motivate why the project should be scrapped, saying the terms of reference are too vague.

The trade union federation's Dumisani Dakile said the implementation of e-tolls goes to the core of leadership and public value.

"Our members are asking how many panels have we gone through, because we are not the last. What makes this panel different from others?"

He said the public was misled into thinking the upgrade to Gauteng roads was only for the 2010 Soccer World Cup but it's now crippling motorists.

Earlier this month, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) argued it didn't need to give details of plans to expand its e-tolling project.

It also said there was nothing sinister about its court action to keep the plans under wraps.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters last month told Sanral not to continue prosecuting motorists who have e-toll debt until all the problems with the system have been dealt with.

Two prosecutors have already been appointed to deal with e-toll court cases once government decides to go ahead with prosecutions.

The Gauteng review panel has to submit its final report with recommendations to the provincial government by the end of November.

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