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Use the tax that we pay to fix the roads - Vavi

Mar 8, 2012 | Kingdom Mabuza, Vusi Xaba and Canaan Mdletshe |   112 comments

To hell with 'new apartheid'!

NOT IN OUR NAME: Thousands of Cosatu members marched in Johannesburg yesterday to show their rejection of labour brokers and e-tolling. Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi addressed the crowd. PHOTO: MOHAU MOFOKENG

THE ANC government is building an apartheid economy, Zwelinzima Vavi said in Johannesburg yesterday.

"When we celebrated democracy we said we have political freedom and we said yes our leaders are in Parliament, but in economic terms wealth is accrued by capitalists.

"We have political medals on our neck but the economic jewel is residing elsewhere," he said.

Vavi said this to thousands of workers after handing over a memorandum against Gauteng's e-tolling system at premier Nomvula Mokonyane's office in Johannesburg.

The marchers had earlier stopped at the department of labour's offices in Braamfontein, where they also handed over a memorandum against Labour Brokering.

Vavi said the ANC government, after dismantling the apartheid system based on race, was now creating a similar system based on economic classes.

"Just as we made apartheid unworkable, we will make this system (economic apartheid) unworkable.

"We defeated the apartheid government which excluded our people based on colour. This government is coming with a new apartheid - economic apartheid.

"To hell with economic apartheid. These are our roads. Use the tax that we are already paying to fix roads," Vavi said.

He said there was an intense class battle going on in the country and that workers had to defend their rights.

"We do not need the tolling system because it will put an added burden on our shoulders," Vavi said.

He said yesterday's march was to fire the first warning shot.

"We have lots of bullets in our chambers. If they insist that tolling will start on the 28 (March) and we must pay, just as we made apartheid unworkable, we will make the system unworkable," he said.

Despite Cosatu's threats, government is going ahead with e-tolling in Gauteng.

Government said it would contribute R5,8billion in a bid to minimise the cost to motorists using toll gates.

On labour brokers, government has proposed that instead of a total ban, they should be regulated.

Vavi also lambasted the ANC's Jackson Mthembu for saying workers were exaggerating their poverty.

"The ANC is wrong on this one," Vavi said.

But the ANC yesterday said it was disappointed by Vavi's remarks and would respond at an appropriate platform.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini led a march in KwaZulu-Natal where he demanded that President Jacob Zuma ban labour brokers and scrap e-tolling.

Similar marches were also held in Limpopo, Free State and Mpumalanga.

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