COSATU welcomes the relief from e-toll costs as announced by the Minister of Finance

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in Gauteng has noted and welcomes the announcement by the Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana, on the funding of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project. This project has been rejected by the residents of Gauteng and workers led by COSATU from its inception in 2013. The nine-year campaign against e-tolls is yet another socio-economic victory for COSATU on behalf of the working class.

Whilst we welcome the long-awaited intervention, we are puzzled by the Minister’s utterances that the Gauteng Provincial Government will “cover the cost of maintaining the 201 kilometres and associated interchanges of the roads”. He further stipulated that “any other additional investments in the roads will be funded through either existing electronic toll infrastructure or new plazas, or any other revenue sources within their area of responsibility”. Our interpretation of this statement is that the user-payer model might be reconfigured leaving motorists to cover the costs through different models. Our campaign’s objective was not for the scrapping of the user-payer system as a model of paying the debts.  Its intention was for the cancellation of any payment towards the use of roads by ordinary Gauteng residents to travel to their places of work on a daily basis. COSATU will not accept any policy position that will require road users to pay for roads in Gauteng.

We still reiterate our call for an affordable, integrated, reliable, accessible and safe public transport system as the integral part of our cause towards social and economic development.

COSATU in Gauteng thanks its members, motorists, fraternal organisations and the people of Gauteng who rejected this policy nightmare. This policy should be a lesson to government to refrain from imposing policies that are not benefitting society. The Federation will continue to push back against attempts to compromise workers and communities in any shape or form.

Issued by COSATU Gauteng

Provincial Secretary – Louisa Modikwe: 066 182 2402

Provincial Chairperson – Amos Monyela: 079 493 5002