• All Share : 49230.99
    DOWN -0.28%
    Top 40 : 4042.71
    DOWN -0.30%
    Financial 15 : 14238.35
    DOWN -0.33%
    Industrial 25 : 58229.73
    DOWN -0.36%

  • ZAR/USD : 11.2664
    DOWN -0.01%
    ZAR/GBP : 18.2394
    DOWN -0.30%
    ZAR/EUR : 14.1940
    DOWN -0.71%
    ZAR/JPY : 0.1026
    DOWN -0.32%
    ZAR/AUD : 9.8171
    DOWN -0.04%

  • Gold : 1207.2500
    DOWN -0.66%
    Platinum : 1303.5000
    UP 0.12%
    Silver : 17.2450
    DOWN -1.31%
    Palladium : 777.0000
    DOWN -1.02%
    Brent Crude Oil : 97.350
    UP 0.15%

  • All data is delayed by 15 min. Data supplied by INET BFA
    Hover cursor over this ticker to pause.

Tue Sep 30 13:52:57 SAST 2014

All the latest news from the anti e-tolling marches

Times LIVE, Sapa | 30 November, 2012 12:14
Toll gantry. File photo.
Image by: SIMON MATHEBULA

All the latest news from Cosatu's anti-etolling marches in once place.

Positive feedback on tolls by Monday, or else: Cosatu Sapa

Cosatu has threatened to remove toll gantries "nicely", occupy Gauteng streets, and block freeways on December 6 if it does not receive positive feedback on memorandums against e-tolling handed to several departments on Friday.

"We are not going to destroy them [gantries]. We are going to take them down nicely and give them to Sanral (SA National Roads Agency Limited)," said Johannes Clouw, the trade federation's Tshwane chairman.

Sanral has been at the forefront of the e-tolling project in Gauteng, but the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) has brought a court application to have the project scrapped. The judgment is awaited.

Protesters in Pretoria and Johannesburg voiced their opposition to e-tolling during the two simultaneous marches.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions gave the departments of transport, finance, and housing until 5pm on Monday to respond to their demands.

An official at the National Treasury in Pretoria, Huntly Pringle, said they would do their best to give a reply by Monday.

The federation's provincial secretary Dumisane Dakile told a transport department official that if authorities were unable to demolish the gantries "Call us, we have capable comrades".

"If we don't get a response, we are marching on the freeways. Comrades, bring your bicycles, we have organised tractors," Dakile said.

"This action for today is just a warm up... We must brace ourselves for a series of actions... If they are not going to respond positively, we are going to occupy all the streets on December 6."

During the marches, Cosatu called for Sanral to be disbanded and a commission of inquiry to be launched into the e-tolling system.

"We want to know who are the beneficiaries, because they are milking us of billions and billions of rands every year," said Dakile.

"Voetsek e-tolls, voetsek," he shouted.

Cosatu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi supported the blockade call and said workers must get there early, even in their "smoking Toyotas".

"Go to the nearest e-toll gate and park that car there the whole day... We want the government to see where the power is," he said to cheers.

Vavi said money lost through corruption had to be retrieved and put towards building roads.

"This e-tolling thing is another way to steal from the poor."

Suggestions that people instead use taxis were "nonsense", as taxis were "moving coffins" he said, and challenged Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane to use taxis herself.

"Don't be arrogant with power, because we as workers will take that power and then you will be ordinary people," Vavi added.

ANC Youth League acting president Ronald Lamola said people had the power to force the project to collapse by not buying e-tags.

"We encourage all South Africans not to buy the e-tags because this project is targeting to steal from the poor."

The league was disappointed at the small number of white people who took part in the march, because it affected all South Africans.

SA Communist Party Gauteng chairman Joe Mpisi said: "We have been oppressed by an apartheid government. We must not be oppressed by a democratic government.

"The Communist Party is with you. The Communist Party doesn't support the privatisation of roads."

By 3pm most protesters had dispersed.

Gauteng transport MEC Ismail Vadi acknowledged receiving a memorandum from protesters and said that even though people had a right to protest, nobody had the right to take the law into his own hands, as there were other channels to raise concerns.

"Law enforcement agencies, therefore, will be called upon to ensure that those who break the law are dealt with appropriately and within the prescripts of the Constitution," said Vadi.

Commission of Inquiry into e-tolls needed: Cosatu Sapa

A commission of inquiry is needed into the Gauteng e-tolling project, Cosatu provincial secretary Dumisani Dakile said at the march against e-tolling in Pretoria on Friday.

"We want to know who are the contractors and sub-contractors... There is a need for a commission of inquiry into the e-tolling system," Dakile told transport department official James Molao before handing over a memorandum to him.

"We want to know who are the beneficiaries because they are milking us of billions and billions of rands every year."

He said it was clear that no one wanted the system.

"They want government to make tapes and notes from public hearings on e-tolls. We want to see if there is one citizen in Gauteng who wants toll roads."

The public rejected the tolls, he said.

"We want to make it clear to you that the public rejects e-tolls. There are companies milking us everyday.

"Sanral is an agent of this department. We are calling on the department to disband Sanral," Dakile told Molao.

Sanral is the SA National Roads Agency Limited which has been at the forefront of e-tolling.

Dakile said if the department did not have the capacity to demolish the toll gantries, "call us, we have capable comrades".

Dakile wanted a response to the two memorandums it handed over to the National Treasury and the transport department by 5pm on Monday.

"If we don't get a response, we are marching on the freeways. Comrades, bring your bicycles, we have organised tractors."

Earlier when marchers handed over the first memorandum to Treasury, Dakile said Cosatu would occupy "all the streets of Gauteng" on December 6 if it did not receive "positive" feedback.

"... If they are not going to respond positively, we are going to occupy all the streets on December 6."

The High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday reserved judgment on the future of the e-tolling system, following a challenge by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance.

Dakile said the people would not accept the roll-out of e-tolling on roads between Johannesburg and Pretoria.

"The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The public transport in this country is a mess."

Poor people paid a large part of their salaries to transport, said Dakile.

"This e-tolls is part of privatisation of our own roads. This system will benefit the elite in South Africa."

"Voetsak e-tolls, voetsak," he shouted.

After handing over the second memorandum, the marchers began dispersing.

Vavi tells anti-toll marchers government has speed for capitalist class Sapa

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi on Friday compared the relative speed with which government moved on e-tolling and abolishing the Scorpions, to the slow pace of restricting labour brokers.

"When it comes to the capitalist class, the government had speed in its legs. But when it comes to the interests of the poor the government moves very slowly," he told marchers opposing e-tolling in Gauteng.

The Scorpions, an investigative unit of the National Prosecuting Authority, were disbanded shortly after the April 2009 elections, after a short period of submissions on the matter, he said.

"Today there is no more Scorpions.

"They have shown a determination to shove this system [e-tolling] down our throats. We must show the same determination to reject this system."

He called on members of the public to blockade toll gantries.

"Go to the nearest e-toll gate and park that car there the whole day... We want the government to see where the power is," he said to cheers.

Vavi said money lost through corruption had to be retrieved and put towards building roads.

"This e-tolling thing is another way to steal from the poor."

Vavi said suggestions that people instead use taxis were "nonsense", as taxis were "moving coffins".

"We are saying use these yourself. Premier, can you get in the taxi? We want the public transit system now.

"Don't be arrogant with power, because we as workers will take that power and then you will be ordinary people," Vavi said.

Government is planning to introduce e-tolling on Gauteng freeways, a plan rejected by, among others, Cosatu, which is holding simultaneous marches in Pretoria and Johannesburg.

Meanwhile, Cosatu's Gauteng chairman Phutas Tseki told marchers in Johannesburg several freeways would be closed in Gauteng on December 6 when Cosatu and supporters held another march against e-tolling.

"Comrades bring along your cars, bicycles, and horses if you have one, to close down the freeways on Thursday."

He was addressing hundreds of Cosatu members marching along Simmonds Street in Johannesburg en route to the Gauteng premier's office.

Acting ANC youth league president Ronald Lamola said the people had the power to force the project to collapse by not buying e-tags.

"We encourage all South Africans not to buy the e-tags because this project is targeting to steal from the poor."

The league was disappointed at the small number of white people who took part in the march, because it affected all South Africans.

"We were expecting to have a huge participation of white people in the march especially because they are the ones who are using the freeways a lot," he said.

"Voetsak e-tolls, voetsak": Cosatu Sapa

Cosatu will occupy "all the streets of Gauteng" on December 6 if it does not receive "positive" feedback on the anti-tolling memorandum by Monday.

"This action for today is just a warm up," Congress of SA Trade Unions provincial secretary Dumisani Dakile said in Pretoria on Friday.

"We must brace ourselves for a series of actions. We want a response by Monday 5pm... If they are not going to respond positively, we are going to occupy all the streets on December 6."

Around midday, marchers in Pretoria made their first stop at the National Treasury.

Policemen blocked the entrance on Madiba Street while the crowd sang and danced as it waited to deliver a memorandum of grievances to the department.

About 20 minutes later, the document was handed over.

Several policemen, some in vehicles and others on bicycles, kept an eye on the situation.

The High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday reserved judgment on the future of the e-tolling system, following a challenge by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance.

Dakile said the people would not accept the roll-out of the e-tolling project on roads between Johannesburg and Pretoria.

"The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The public transport in this country is a mess."

Poor people paid a large part of their salaries to transport, said Dakile.

"This e-tolls is part of privatisation of our own roads. This system will benefit the elite in South Africa."

He said the next generation would be indebted by the tolling system.

"Voetsak e-tolls, voetsak," he shouted.

Lamola slams e-tolling Sapa

ANC Youth League acting president Ronald Lamola slammed e-tolling in an address to protesters in Johannesburg on Friday.

"It's a sophisticated way of taking from the poor," said Lamola as Congress of SA Trade Unions members and supporters gathered in the CBD to show their opposition to government's plans to toll Gauteng freeways.

"We must stand still by not buying e-tolls. This thing must collapse," he said.

"In 20 years it will be very expensive. It will be an expensive future for South Africa," said Lamola.

He said the march was to "combine black and white" and was for all South Africans.

Meanwhile, in Pretoria, protesters handed a memorandum to National Treasury official Huntly Pringle, to voice their opposition to the e-tolling plans.

Pringle, a director in Director-General Lungisa Fuzile's office, said they intended to consider it in "grave detail".

"We will do our very best to make sure you get a response by Monday."

People at nearby sidewalk cafes stood up and danced as the throng moved past them, and pedestrians randomly joined the march.

Anti-tolling marches start Sapa

The Congress of SA Trade Union's protest marches against e-tolling started simultaneously in Johannesburg and Pretoria shortly after 11am on Friday.

In Johannesburg, protesters whistled, danced, and sang Cosatu songs as they marched down Bree Street, taking up about half a block in the city's CBD.

Cosatu chairman in Gauteng, Phutas Tseki, said their first stop would be the department of local government and housing.

In addition to showing their rejection of plans to toll freeways in Gauteng, Cosatu is also objecting to the recent housing demolitions in the province.

"The demolition of houses in Lenasia, of hostels in Mamelodi, and of shacks in Boipatong must be stopped," said Tseki.

Four memorandums were expected to be delivered in Johannesburg and Pretoria on Friday to the housing, finance, and transport departments in both cities.

The turnout in Johannesburg was lower than expected, but Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven defended this, saying support would build later and that Cosatu was reaching out to civil society for support.

He added that although businesses also opposed tolling plans, they did not have a protest culture.

In Pretoria, police, some on bicycles, moved among the marshals keeping a close watch on groups of people as they headed from Sophie de Bruyn Street onto Madiba Street.

The crowd began singing and dancing, as a truck leading the march played music via loud-speakers.

A placard on the windscreen of the truck read: "Don't register with Sanral, Don't buy e-tags", referring to the SA National Roads Agency Limited, which wants to use an electronic tagging system to charge for use of the roads.

Other posters read: "Gauntlett, the dogs have come out to play. No to tolls", "Info bill + e-toll = no freedom".

During this week's court challenge to the government tolling plans, advocate Jeremy Gauntlett representing the National Treasury, said "civil society is a watchdog, but it must get out of the kennel and bark" - in a submission that the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance's application to have tolls scrapped was a "sham".

Cosatu's provincial secretary Dumisani Dakile joined the Pretoria march, and walked with other leaders from the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru).

At 11.40am they arrived at the Treasury in Pretoria, where policemen in riot gear were standing in front of the gates.

SHARE YOUR OPINION

If you have an opinion you would like to share on this article, please send us an e-mail to the Times LIVE iLIVE team. In the mean time, click here to view the Times LIVE iLIVE section.
Tue Sep 30 13:52:57 SAST 2014 ::