Fin24

Cosatu: Bid to reinstate tolls will fail

2012-05-31 15:27

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 powers.

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 Constitution."

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 fuel levy.

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 the ANC."

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 tolls.

"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 said.

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.

Comments
  • felix.feline.3 - 2012-05-31 15:46

    A gift for the anc .........................´¯/) ......................,/¯..// ...................../..../ / ............./´¯/'...'/´¯¯`•¸ ........../'/.../..../......./¨¯\ ........('(...´(..´......,~/'...') .........\.................\/..../ ..........''...\.......... _.•´ ............\..............( ..............\.............\

      Themba - 2012-05-31 16:12

      no middle fingers please!

  • Alan - 2012-05-31 15:56

    Give it up ANC - you are NOT going to win this one. Start now to economise on excessive government wastage, fraudulent tenders, massive ministers' salaries and allowances. You will find that the people will speak in no uncertain manner if you try to railroad this through, even if the Court says yes to tolls. The ANC can no longer afford to be arrogant - too many people of all races are now seeing what a useless and corrupt government it is.

  • Alan - 2012-05-31 15:56

    Give it up ANC - you are NOT going to win this one. Start now to economise on excessive government wastage, fraudulent tenders, massive ministers' salaries and allowances. You will find that the people will speak in no uncertain manner if you try to railroad this through, even if the Court says yes to tolls. The ANC can no longer afford to be arrogant - too many people of all races are now seeing what a useless and corrupt government it is.

  • Alan - 2012-05-31 15:56

    Give it up ANC - you are NOT going to win this one. Start now to economise on excessive government wastage, fraudulent tenders, massive ministers' salaries and allowances. You will find that the people will speak in no uncertain manner if you try to railroad this through, even if the Court says yes to tolls. The ANC can no longer afford to be arrogant - too many people of all races are now seeing what a useless and corrupt government it is.

  • Themba - 2012-05-31 16:08

    We all fail to realize the government wanted to use tolls to create employment and generate long term income for itself, so that's why fuel levy story does not stick. We should ask ourselves that if we exceeded our income (all taxes) by almost R300 billion in our national budget, so whats R20b. It would have been better if they had built a completely new motorway, say on top of existing one - my dream project. But to ask us to pay on a road we used to drive on for free is really asking too much. National toll roads should be targeted next.

  • Themba - 2012-05-31 16:09

    We all fail to realize the government wanted to use tolls to create employment and generate long term income for itself, so that's why fuel levy story does not stick. We should ask ourselves that if we exceeded our income (all taxes) by almost R300 billion in our national budget, so whats R20b. It would have been better if they had built a completely new motorway, say on top of existing one - my dream project. But to ask us to pay on a road we used to drive on for free is really asking too much. National toll roads should be targeted next.

  • Christopher - 2012-05-31 16:21

    The ruling party must listen to the voice of the people.we don't want the e-toll here in gauteng,the government must get alternative to funds that 20 billion to sanral.E-toll is a day light robbery from the poor cos the small group in the leadership of the anc are stealing from the poor by means of tolling the public road.As for Zuma,pls pls stay away from the second team cos u misleading us s the nation.

  • Dooie - 2012-05-31 16:25

    Yes mr Zwelinzima Vavi... you will continue to fight this until YOU start to benefit from the e-tolls as well. Just see how you go mum as soon as they include you in the scam.... Wait and see....

  • Dooie - 2012-05-31 16:25

    Yes mr Zwelinzima Vavi... you will continue to fight this until YOU start to benefit from the e-tolls as well. Just see how you go mum as soon as they include you in the scam.... Wait and see....

  • Dooie - 2012-05-31 16:28

    Yes mr Zwelinzima Vavi... you will continue to fight this until YOU start to benefit from the e-tolls as well. Just see how you go mum as soon as they include you in the scam.... Wait and see....

  • Dooie - 2012-05-31 16:39

    Well mr Zwelinzima Vavi. We all know you will continue to fight this untill YOU benefit from the e-tolling system....

  • flysouth - 2012-05-31 16:57

    When the citizens have made it clear that they will not tolerate an imposition such as tolls, then government should not be permitted to attempt to counter that groundswell of opinion by court action - if necessary they should be forced to hold a snap referendum on such issues to finalise matters. The action of government in taking such matters to court when it is abundantly clear that citizens have said a clear NO, is unacceptable and must be stopped.

  • alice.pretorius - 2012-06-01 09:50

    H.K.G.K.

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