Snail mail 'to block e-tolls'

05 December 2013 - 02:01 By PENWELL DLAMINI and KINGDOM MABUZA
OVERHEADS: The contentious system of e-tolling is due to be implemented in Gauteng on Tuesday
OVERHEADS: The contentious system of e-tolling is due to be implemented in Gauteng on Tuesday
Image: Picture: GALLO IMAGES

E-tolling faces a new stumbling block in its first week of operation - Post Office workers have vowed to delay the delivery of summonses to motorists and traffic police have started an unofficial go-slow.

Yesterday, the Cosatu-affiliated Communications Workers' Union urged its workers, who have been on a go-slow, to strengthen their contribution to Cosatu's campaign against e-tolls by delaying the delivery to defaulting motorists of SA National Roads Agency mail.

"We [want] our workers to be really extremely slow when they see the e-tolls mail," Aubrey Tshabalala, the union's Gauteng secretary, said.

"Our members will be very slow. The snail will be faster than us when we see e-tolls mail."

He said the go-slow would become a stayaway on December 24 and January 2.

If the go-slow persists at the Post Office, the delay in the delivery of the seven-day demands to motorists without e-tags would jeopardise Sanral's case against defaulters.

Tshabalala said main Post Office centres such as those at Witspos, Germiston, OR Tambo International airport and Krugersdorp would be in complete lockdown.

Traffic officers in Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg, who complain that they are being overwhelmed by the diversion of traffic onto secondary routes by e-tolling, have resorted to dragging their feet.

The officers are members of the SA Municipal Workers' Union, an affiliate of Cosatu.

Samwu's Gauteng legal officer, Jack Mokalapa, confirmed officers were on an unofficial go-slow.

"We cannot be held responsible for the go-slow. It's not the official position of the union but we have assured our members that we will fight the e-tolls through Cosatu," he said.

Mokalapa said the union had received complaints from officers about the "madness" on alternative roads.

"It is an added burden, which is unnecessary. As a Cosatu affiliate, we will continue to exert pressure on the government to scrap the e-tolls. They are affecting operations and officers cannot respond to other emergency cases," he said.

Both the Ekurhuleni and the Johannesburg metro police departments claimed they were not aware of the go-slow.

"As far as I know, all our officers are on their feet doing their work," said Johannesburg metro police spokesman Edna Mamonyane.

Her counterpart in Ekurhuleni, Wilfred Kgasago, said: "There's no evidence that there is a go-slow."

When asked whether the go-slow would affect the delivery of its notices, Sanral spokesman Vusi Mona said: "Not at this moment."

He also said that he had no knowledge of go-slow protests by Post Office workers and metro police.