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Cosatu, Outa oppose new law that could see defaulting e-toll users fined heavily

Cosatu and Outa have been vocal about their opposition to e-tolling in Gauteng and have warned motorists not to take the new proposal lying down.

An e-toll gantry. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - There are widespread concerns over a draft regulation that could see defaulting e-toll users being fined R500 when they pass under a gantry, and there is only a month left for the public to weigh in.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) have been vocal about their opposition to e-tolling in Gauteng and have warned motorists not to take the new proposal lying down.

If the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (Aarto) regulations go ahead, motorists could be slapped with a R500 fine each time they cross a gantry, while also having to pay a R100 levy for each traffic fine.

“We are tired of this and we are not going to tolerate the situation where the people of Gauteng are being bullied,” said Cosatu’s spokesperson Sizwe Pamla.

Pamla said the plan to squeeze motorists for failing to settle e-tolls debt is extremely concerning, and he urged citizens to do the right thing and oppose the proposal.

“With the local government elections coming, we have reached the point where we encourage the people of Gauteng to actually vote not against their own interests, but look after themselves,” he said.

If the draft regulation succeeds, it will be implemented from 1 July.

Outa is, however, expected to challenge the constitutionality of this proposal.

With the lockdown leaving millions of people without jobs, Cosatu lashed out at government over the latest proposal involving e-tolls, saying the trade union federation is tired of government trying to “pickpocket” the working class.

Pamla said the proposal was up for discussion at their central executive meeting in November.

“Already many South Africans, even those that are employed, are deeply indebted, and because of the COVID-19 pandemic they’re also struggling to hold on to their houses and cars,” he said.

“The idea that on top of all the taxes that South Africans are paying, government is also trying to make sure that it keeps pickpocketing them using the e-tolls.”

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