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Sat Apr 19 03:53:37 SAST 2014

ANC won't budge on eToll

Apr 20, 2012 | Kingdom Mabuza |   57 comments

THE ANC and Cosatu are still battling to find a middle ground on the Gauteng e-tolling system despite having held many meetings.

UP IN ARMS: Cosatu members and others marched in Johannesburg in March 2012, calling for stopping the implementation of the e-tolling system. PHOTO MOHAU MOFOKENG

Yesterday another meeting was held by the two parties, but Cosatu later released a statement about its planned April 30 strike to fight the e-tolling system.

The labour federation said it would blockade major freeways in Gauteng and other parts of the country to protest against the launching of the system, which it has branded "highway robbery".

The Sowetan understands that Cosatu wants the ANC to persuade its government to scrap the system that will see motorists paying to use certain national roads in Gauteng.

It has also proposed that the government should find money to pay off the debt incurred while building the roads, but the ANC refused, saying the government could not divert funds intended for other projects.

Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven said yesterday's meeting was a follow-up, but refused to give details of the meeting.

ANC spokesman Keith Khoza said he could not comment because there was a decision that what was discussed should not be made public at this stage.

The labour federation filed a Section 77 notice on Tuesday, which will enable workers to engage in protected protest action in the form of a national stay-away.

Cosatu's planned action will coincide with the implementation of the e-tolling system on April 30.

Cosatu will also embark on other forms of protests like marches, picketing and sit-ins to register their displeasure with the system which will affect mostly low-earners.

Cosatu in North West will also hold a protest action at the Swartruggens tollgate today to demand that the toll fees be reduced.

Provincial secretary Solly Phetoe said: "This protest action is part of the national campaign against e-tolling and labour brokers. Cosatu calls on all its members to come out in numbers to fight against this reverse apartheid that we are experiencing.

"We call on all taxi owners, motorists, business people and the rest of the people of North West to support our picketing and demonstration, which will start from April 20 2012 ..."

A series of protest action will also take place as a build-up to the April 30 strike.

This will include a night vigil at the Tshwane department of roads and transport on April 25, picketing at the Sanral offices on the same day and a night vigil at the Swartruggens toll gate on April 20 and 21.

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