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Cosatu: E-toll gantries pose a health risk

Cosatu has asked that doctors be summoned to testify on the impact gantry scanners have on pregnant women.

Cosatu's Dumisani Dakile at the economic impact of e-tolls hearings in Midrand, Wednesday, 27 August 2014. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) says e-toll gantries pose a health risk and has urged the Gauteng review panel to summon doctors to testify about the impact of the scanners on pregnant women.

The trade union federation was one of three labour organisations that made presentations to a provincial e-tolls review panel on Wednesday.

The panel has been instructed to hand in analyses and recommendations to Gauteng Premier David Makhura by the end of November on the socio-economic effects of the multibillion rand project.

Today the panel will hear input from the business sector.

Cosatu's Dumisani Dakile says although he doesn't have any data to support his argument, the lasers used to scan vehicle number plates are dangerous.

He believes the panel must look into the long-term risks on humans.

"Look at these things in the next five years, what kind of children will be there who are born from mothers who are using these things. I think it's a critical question."

Cosatu has also told the panel that the implementation of the e-tolling system is one of the most immoral projects signed into law by government, next to the arms deal.

They have asked the panel to consider funding the e-toll debt and road upgrades through a fuel levy or tax.

Cosatu has also warned the Gauteng premier that if the African National Congress (ANC) doesn't scrap the e-tolling system before the 2016 municipal elections, he will have to share the province with the opposition.

Dakile has given a stern warning to government, to listen to the public and scrap the e-tolling system or lose more voters to the Democratic Alliance (DA) in 2016.

"We'll be governing with the opposition mayors in all three metros; in Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane."

He says the opposition party us using e-tolls against the ANC, to gain more support from motorists also opposing the multibillion rand project.