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Cosatu slams Mboweni's stance on e-tolls

The trade union federation is hoping to hand over a memorandum to President Cyril Ramaphos, calling once again for the scrapping of e-tolls.

South African Municipal Workers' Union members support Cosatu's protest against e-tolls. Picture: @_cosatu/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has labelled Finance Minister Tito Mboweni's comments around e-tolls ridiculous as hundreds of its members plan to take their protest against the controversial system to the seat of government in Pretoria on Friday morning.

The trade union federation is hoping to hand over a memorandum to President Cyril Ramaphosa, calling once again for the scrapping of e-tolls.

Last week, Mboweni called on motorists to pay their e-toll bills, saying “nothing is for free”.

Sanral needs around R67 billion to pay for the Gauteng freeway improvement project.

Cosatu's Dumisani Dakile says South Africans pay enough taxes, some of which could be used to pay off the e-toll debt.

“In terms of the petrol levy being taxed from our people for every litre they’re paying.”

Cosatu has been against the user pay system for years, but the latest message from Mboweni has angered many in the trade union.

Mboweni's stance on the controversial system comes just months before the country votes for a new government on the national and provincial level.

The ANC in Gauteng has acknowledged the unhappiness over e-tolls may have cost the party a number of votes in the previous provincial election.

ALTERNATIVES

The ANC in Gauteng says it will propose a list of alternative payment methods to replace the controversial e-tolls system during the march.

The ANC’s Kgosientso Ramokgopa says an extra fuel levy is not an alternative option to the system at the moment.

He says members will, however, list several other options to Ramaphosa today.

“This is penalising commuters going to work, church and school. It’s not ideal and undermines the growth of the economy with the high inflation.”

Members from other groups including the Orgaisation Undoing Tax Abuse and Not in My Name are also there singing and dancing as they wait to make their way through the streets of the capital to the Union Buildings.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)