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Police-Cosatu toll war looms

By Vusi Xaba and Kingdom Mabuza | Mar 09, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 28 ]

CONFRONTATION is looming between Cosatu and the police over threats that workers will blockade Gauteng's toll gates.

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi told a workers' march on Wednesday that should government go ahead with e-tolling, workers would block freeways.

The e-toll freeway billing system is set to be introduced on April 30.

Johannesburg Metro Police Department's spokeswoman, Edna Mamonyane warned yesterday that police would deal harshly with people who broke the law.

"The law says no pedestrians are allowed on the freeway. Blocking the freeway will be an unlawful act and they will be arrested because they will be breaking the law," she said.

Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven was adamant that workers would defy the law and block the freeway unless government scrapped them before April 30.

"Judging by the numbers from Wednesday's march, it will be impossible for police to arrest us. We will go ahead with the march if government does not change its mind," said Craven.

Meanwhile, Cosatu yesterday warned labour brokers not to victimise workers who joined the protest march saying the work stoppage was legal.

"We have been inundated with reports of threats to workers who participated in the strike. Cosatu calls on workers who have been threatened by labour brokers to report such unfair labour practices to the federation," said Tony Ehrenreich, Cosatu Western Cape provincial secretary.

The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), accused unnamed political and civic leaders of misleading the public about the payment of toll fees.

"Sanral has noted with concern untruths being propagated by some political and civil organisation leaders trying to gain support for their grievances around e-tolling," it said in a statement.

Sanral also denied that it would have access to the private bank accounts of registered e-toll users. It said the automated credit card payment system did not give it access to account holders' bank accounts. Rather those who registered for this type of payment could regulate their accounts by setting pre-determined top-up threshold levels.

"If motorists were unsure about giving their credit card details for payment of toll fees, they could use a pre-paid e-toll account," the statement said.

"This meant they could top up their e-toll account at a customer service outlet or via electronic funds transfer. This is already widely used by other organisations."

The roads agency also warned that 1200 people stood to lose their jobs if the e-tolling system was scrapped.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced recently that tariffs for Gauteng's toll gates had been reduced to 30c per kilometre for light motor vehicles with an e-tag. - additional reporting by Sapa


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Abantu abancane kanje yo!!!!

Mar 09, 2012 9:16 | 0 replies

Comrade VAVI & Comrade Malema its time you both lead the people of this country!!!!

So the Government we voted for is against the masses now!!!

Why they forgotten so soon abt us people who voted for them???

Mar 09, 2012 11:4 | 0 replies

COSATU must allow members with cars to help block the freeway, does it say its illegal to drive slowly (5km/h) with your car on the freeway? And even if it is, are they going to tow 100 000 cars away?

Mar 09, 2012 11:10 | 0 replies

Just Announce the date i'll be there-- Between Malibongwe Offramp and Beyers naude

We'll Block the Freeway tiil they get the message

Go to Hell Sbu

Mar 09, 2012 11:16 | 0 replies

We are still waiting for an upology from government for not consulting with the public about the operations of e-tolling, or is it because we are not Nigerians so we dont deserve an apology?

Mar 09, 2012 11:30 | 0 replies

Re tlabe re daar re tshwere diphatlo le di kota for lunch.Vavi!Vavi!
Mr Vavi please invite Lindiwe Mazibuko tooetog. Ke batla go lebela gabotsana ke close le yena.

Mar 09, 2012 12:2 | 0 replies

tell them wena vavi, they dont scare us, we shall see if they will arrest every single one who blockades those toll gates, re tla bona if they will succeed.

Mar 09, 2012 12:9 | 0 replies

They cant arrest us all

Mar 09, 2012 12:18 | 0 replies

Hhayi sowetan, you m.o.r.o.n.s, since when i a word v.i.l.l.a.g.e vulgar. Niyahlupha .Lets all go in numbers to support the strike i ANC isijwayela kabi . How am I supposed to pay for toll gates whereas my parents in KZN still don't have water and electricity.

Mar 09, 2012 2:38 | 0 replies

Abasazi basizwa nge ndaba. Siyabangena no matter what. These is the new apartheird from the capitalist few

Mar 09, 2012 2:43 | 0 replies

''The roads agency also warned that 1200 people stood to lose their jobs if the e-tolling system was scrapped.''

what about fourt somthing million of people who will suffer if this e-tolling system gets underway??
I suppose those ppl are now working as volunteers because no one has paid yet.
well said my friend, I could'nt have said it better.......
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Mar 09, 2012 2:54 | 0 replies