COSATU Gauteng welcomes the scrapping of the ill-conceived e-tolls and condemns historic debt obligations

11 April 2024

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in Gauteng welcomes the decision to scrap e-tolls in the province, effective from today. The Federation appreciates the swift action by the provincial government to address this policy nightmare imposed by the national government. This move is a victory for the residents of Gauteng and a testament to the power of collective action and advocacy.

For far too long, e-tolls have burdened Gauteng’s road users with unfair and exorbitant charges, placing undue financial strain on ordinary workers and families. The scrapping of e-tolls marks a significant step towards addressing this injustice and alleviating the financial pressures faced by commuters.

However, COSATU Gauteng strongly condemns the notion that those with historic e-toll debt are still required to pay it. It is unacceptable that individuals should continue to bear the burden of debt accumulated under a system that has now been deemed unjust and ineffective.

Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga’s statement that individuals with historic e-toll debt remain obligated to pay is deeply concerning. No worker should be saddled with debt resulting from a failed and widely opposed tolling system. The government must take responsibility and make alternative provisions to address this debt burden. The reason COSATU embarked on the rejection of the user-payer system was not to pay for the roads used to travel from work to home as well as visits to families and friends. Paying for historical debts as pronounced by the Minister of Transport is a spit in the face on COSATU’s campaign and the residents of Gauteng.

We therefore call on the government to implement measures to alleviate the financial strain on workers and ensure that they are not unfairly burdened with historic e-toll debt. We urge the government to explore alternative solutions that prioritize the well-being and financial security of commuters in the province.

As we celebrate the scrapping of this failed policy nightmare, COSATU Gauteng remains committed to advocating for the rights and interests of workers across the province. We will continue to campaign in making sure that the workers and the working class remain relieved from e-tolls.

Gauteng residents and motorists need not feel threatened by the disappointing call by Minister Chikunga for the payment of historical debts. No one should pay the debts imposed by government. This ill-conceived policy and its repercussions should lie on the shoulders of its implementors.  

Issued by COSATU Gauteng

Provincial Chairperson (Amos Monyela): 079 493 5002

Provincial Secretary (Louisah Modikwe): 066 182 2402 / 082 297 2659