Johannesburg - The government's application to the Constitutional
Court to set aside a court order halting e-tolling will fail, Cosatu
general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Thursday.
"We have no doubt that the government is going to learn
the hard way again with the Constitutional Court when it fails in this
application," Vavi told reporters in Johannesburg.
It would likewise fail in its appeal against the judgment by the High Court in Pretoria.
"The government is wasting time running in the courts at huge expense to the taxpayers."
On 28 April, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria handed down an
order preventing the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) from levying
or collecting e-tolls pending the outcome of a judicial review.
Last week, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan applied to
the Constitutional Court to set aside this court order. Gordhan argued
that Judge Bill Prinsloo had ignored the principle of separation of
Vavi rejected this argument.
"In our view it's a complete false claim... that's just
an attempt to blackmail the judges not to make judgments in the best
interests of the law, and the supreme law of the country, which is the
Instead of wasting time at courts, the government
should be talking to the Congress of SA Trade Unions to find an
alternative way to fund the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project. Cosatu
has suggested, as an interim measure, a 14 cents a litre increase in the
Vavi emphasised this would only be an temporary solution.
"We will not reveal what we believe should be really a
long-term solution for now because that is subject to discussions with
Vavi rejected an earlier comment by Deputy President
Kgalema Motlanthe, at a media briefing on e-tolling, that a decision
taken in a meeting between the ANC and Cosatu to delay the Gauteng
e-tolls by a month was just a suggestion.
"It's quite annoying... to be told that our agreement
with the ruling party is a mere recommendation to the superpower, the
government," Vavi said.
In April, while the High Court was hearing the e-toll
arguments, the ANC and Cosatu decided to postpone implementation of the
"The ANC says it is a strategic political sector. When
we engage it we engage a strategic political sector, not an NGO that can
only make recommendations to the superpower, being government," Vavi
The ANC, chosen by a majority, was the most important player in South Africa, not the government, he argued.
Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said the union
federation expected the ANC to have communicated the outcome of that
meeting to the government.
"The actual effect of that particular discussion was
indeed the announcement that was made by the ANC, not Cosatu, that we
have agreed to postpone or defer the implementation of the e-tolling for
30 days," Dlamini said.