Fedusa presses to meet Zuma
THE Federation of Unions of South Africa has written to President Jacob Zuma asking for an urgent meeting about e-tolling fees.
In an open letter to Zuma Fedusa expressed concern about tolling fees and how they were being calculated, and referred this to the Competition Commission.
The letter, penned by Fedusa general secretary Dennis George, said the union was dissatisfied most of all over the manner in which toll fees had been set in the light of the perceived lack of transparency and what some have called state-endorsed profiteering by the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral).
"Our management committee therefore resolved yesterday to seek an advisory opinion from the Competition Commission regarding the setting of toll prices and with a view to the possible establishment of a regulatory body to oversee the balancing of interests in this process," the letter said.
George said the letter was written since a previous attempt to engage with the presidency had met with no response.
"For reasons unbeknown to us we have as yet not received a response (to George's letter dated January 13 2012) from your office."
The e-tolling debacle had unfolded over the past few months with objections coming from several bodies.
The Automobile Association this week objected to plans by Sanral to establish a dedicated traffic police unit, saying it could be construed "as the establishment of a private army for the sole purpose of toll enforcement".
"Our main concern regarding the process as it unfolded is the total lack of transparency. When the work on the Gauteng roads commenced, most people thought it to be mere infrastructure maintenance in preparation for the 2010 Fifa World Cup," said George.
In his letter George said there was no direct indication and no proper prior consultation with interest groups about future tolling costs at that stage.
"This lack of transparency continued since the first indication of possible costs to roadusers and we believe there is still a lack of a clear and open agenda on the matter," he said.