Photo credit: Sapa
“This bill, which legalises the e-tolling on the Gauteng Freeways Improvement Project (GFIP), which Cosatu and the overwhelming majority of the people of Gauteng oppose, is a matter of great public concern, and there should have been proper parliamentary hearings on the matter,” said Patrick Craven, Cosatu’s national spokesperson.
Craven added: “We demand that the National Council of Provinces rectifies this by holding public hearings and does not rubber-stamp the legislation.”
He said Cosatu would continue to fight e-tolling, which he believes will “impose a big additional financial burden on motorists” as well as the “thousands of workers who have no alternative to driving their cars to get to and from work because of the inadequacy, or in some case[s] non-existence, of public transport”.
He argued tolling the highways will be a burden on the poor, who already have to pay for transport and the highways through income, road, fuel, value-added-tax, motor vehicle and other taxes.
Craven said Cosatu will support the appeal by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) to the Supreme Court of Appeal “against the dismissal of their application in December by the High Court in Tshwane (Pretoria)”.
Cosatu has been active with a series of protests in the form of motorcades, the most recent of which took place February 25.