COSATU calls on all its members to push back against the plan to resuscitate e-tolls

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is calling on all its members and the general citizens of Gauteng to support the anti-e-toll march in Pretoria this coming Friday, 02 November 2018. This march is about sending a clear message to our government that we will only be governed by consent, and we will never allow ourselves to be bullied by those we have elected.
A march is a language of the unheard and we need to deploy it every time, when we feel that our government is refusing to listen to our views. Our government has demonstrated immense stubbornness and unwillingness to cooperate with workers and the working class.

The minister of Finance’s provocative statement represent a clear demonstration of a leadership that is not only power drunk but views us as its subjects. They believe

that they can do as they wish and there will be no consequences. The decision to increase VAT earlier this year is a reminder that the National Treasury is hell-bent on making workers to pay for our economic problems

COSATU and all other working class formations opposed to the e-tolling system will continue to fight for the scrapping of the unjust and exploitative system. We are proud of the impact that mass protests and civil disobedience actions organised by the federation have had on the e-tolling system. Many people have not bought e-tags and they have since refused to cooperate with Sanral and making the system unworkable.

We call on the Minister of Transport Blade Nzimande’s start implementing the decisions of both the ANC and the Alliance to do away with e-tolls and find an alternative funding model to pay for road improvements.

The time has arrived for all ANC ministers in government to start implementing the policies of the ANC in government. There is not a single structure of the ANC or the Alliance that is in favour of e-tolls and the people of Gauteng have unambiguously expressed their views on the matter.
Minster Tito Mboweni needs to explain to all of us, where he gets his mandate if not from the ANC or the Alliance resolutions. What makes this even more objectionable is that Minister Mboweni is an NEC member, who is therefore familiar with the position of the ANC and the Alliance on e-tolls.

COSATU will continue to argue for an integrated public transport system. The lack of such an integrated public transport system is the main reason why so many thousands of motorists have no alternative means of getting to and from work. Workers bitterly resent having to pay twice for road improvements which they have already paid for though taxes and the fuel levy.

E-tolls are a relic of a redundant and discredited New Public Management system that was introduced under GEAR in 1996. The New Public Management represents a right-wing ideological model of the public sector that wants to change the public service to operate along the lines of the private sector. It introduces private-sector practices and in the delivery of services the New Public Management insists on the user-payer principle (e.g. such as the e-tolls) as opposed to cross-subsidisation of the poor by the rich. It promotes the commodification of public services rather than the promotion of constitutional or citizenship rights, and as such citizens become “customers” or “clients” in the practice of the delivery of public services.

The fight against e-tolling is the first phase in a battle to break the spine of neo-liberalism that has plunged so many people into poverty. We are certain that people power will finally convince the government to abandon a policy with is extremely unpopular, unfair and unworkable.

Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794