The Congress of South African Trade Unions in Gauteng is disappointed by the ill-informed utterances of the Deputy Minister of Transport, Sindisiwe Chikunga on the e-tolls. The deputy minister has exposed her limited understanding of the reasons behind the rejection of the road user-payer system in Gauteng. Her articulation on the history of tax for roads in South Africa reflects a leading figure in the government who uses apartheid methods to suffocate citizens for the benefit of monopoly capital.
Her example of toll gates is also a reflection of a poor understanding of the geography of Gauteng. The roads that are tolled in Gauteng (N3, N12, N1, M1, and R21) are used by the citizens of Gauteng to go to and from work, visit families and friends daily, and economic hardship they brought to motorists hence they are rejected. The deputy minister should understand that much as this saga is easier to resolve through her ill-informed history, it is also easier to scrap the e-tolls than to put pressure on the already suffocating citizens through taxes.
COSATU is however not surprised by the populist utterances by the deputy minister because we are accustomed to a government that is pro-business and anti-working class in all respect. The Gauteng Provincial Government, President Cyril Ramaphosa, and Minister Fikile Mbalula promised that a solution for e-tolls will be found, as COSATU in Gauteng we are waiting for Fikile Mbalula to make an announcement as he promised two years ago else there will be dire consequences for the governing party.
The e-toll policy has failed, motorists are not paying even when SANRAL is giving discounts. This is a true reflection of a boycott and the success of the COSATU campaign to scrap the e-tolls. We call all motorists in Gauteng to continue to support our campaign and not pay their so-called e-tolls accounts. In case Minister Mbalula is not going to make an announcement favorable to our demands by the end of September, COSATU in Gauteng will be left with no option but to protest on election day.
Provincial Chairperson: Amos Vusi Monyela – 079 493 5002
Provincial Secretary: Louisa Modikwe – 066 182 2402