Cosatu: Positive feedback, or else

2012-11-30 16:58

Pretoria - Cosatu has threatened to remove toll gantries "nicely", occupy Gauteng streets, and block freeways on December 6 if it does not receive positive feedback on memorandums against e-tolling handed to several departments on Friday.

"We are not going to destroy them [gantries]. We are going to take them down nicely and give them to Sanral (SA National Roads Agency Limited)," said Johannes Clouw, the trade federation's Tshwane chairperson.

Sanral has been at the forefront of the e-tolling project in Gauteng, but the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) has brought a court application to have the project scrapped. The judgment is awaited.

Protesters in Pretoria and Johannesburg voiced their opposition to e-tolling during the two simultaneous marches.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions gave the departments of transport, finance, and housing until 17:00 on Monday to respond to their demands.

An official at the National Treasury in Pretoria, Huntly Pringle, said they would do their best to give a reply by Monday.

The federation's provincial secretary Dumisane Dakile told a transport department official that if authorities were unable to demolish the gantries "Call us, we have capable comrades".

"If we don't get a response, we are marching on the freeways. Comrades, bring your bicycles, we have organised tractors," Dakile said.

"This action for today is just a warm up... We must brace ourselves for a series of actions... If they are not going to respond positively, we are going to occupy all the streets on December 6."

During the marches, Cosatu called for Sanral to be disbanded and a commission of inquiry to be launched into the e-tolling system.

"We want to know who are the beneficiaries, because they are milking us of billions and billions of rands every year," said Dakile.

"Voetsek e-tolls, voetsek," he shouted.

Cosatu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi supported the blockade call and said workers must get there early, even in their "smoking Toyotas".

"Go to the nearest e-toll gate and park that car there the whole day... We want the government to see where the power is," he said to cheers.

Vavi said money lost through corruption had to be retrieved and put towards building roads.

"This e-tolling thing is another way to steal from the poor."

Suggestions that people instead use taxis were "nonsense", as taxis were "moving coffins" he said, and challenged Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane to use taxis herself.

"Don't be arrogant with power, because we as workers will take that power and then you will be ordinary people," Vavi added.

ANC Youth League acting president Ronald Lamola said people had the power to force the project to collapse by not buying e-tags.

"We encourage all South Africans not to buy the e-tags because this project is targeting to steal from the poor."

The league was disappointed at the small number of white people who took part in the march, because it affected all South Africans.

SA Communist Party Gauteng chairman Joe Mpisi said: "We have been oppressed by an apartheid government. We must not be oppressed by a democratic government.

"The Communist Party is with you. The Communist Party doesn't support the privatisation of roads."

By 15:00 most protesters had dispersed.

Gauteng transport MEC Ismail Vadi acknowledged receiving a memorandum from protesters and said that even though people had a right to protest, nobody had the right to take the law into his own hands, as there were other channels to raise concerns.

"Law enforcement agencies, therefore, will be called upon to ensure that those who break the law are dealt with appropriately and within the prescripts of the Constitution," said Vadi.

  • stewart.laidlaw.5 - 2012-11-30 17:25

    Let the fun begin

  • thomas.reed.7509 - 2012-11-30 17:41

    Eish, should've called in sick today.. Score me some of those violet lights and stick them under my Tazz.

      douglas.reid.921 - 2012-12-01 07:53

      Man, that's the best idea I have heard for a long time, I thought of using them for a discotech.

  • aspruyt - 2012-11-30 17:47

    Funny how SANRAL was intimidating drivers by pulling people over and harassing people who didn't have tags a few months ago, yet no one is allowed to intimidate them back. Eat crap SANRAL.

  • michael.bushes.5 - 2012-11-30 18:00

    ""If we don't get a response, we are marching on the freeways. Comrades, bring your bicycles, we have organised tractors," Dakile said" Something smells of JR Ewing here

  • frisco.raswiswi - 2012-11-30 21:38

    i can imagine Nomvola with mini-skirt in a taxi to her office.i wish the late Chris Hani was alive

  • jay.vyas.984 - 2012-11-30 22:17

    I suspect that the Judge may just decide in favour of the State! That will give us the SA Overtaxed, Under-Represented and Fed Up Public to derail this project - By way of a NON RESISTANCE, NON VIOLENT STANCE! 1. Just refrain from buying e-Tags! 2. Stand Up against every intimidating action from the Authorities! 3. Use other alternative routes that ARE EXISTING, even if inconvenient! 4. Get the AA (Automobile Association) to SUPPORT the ANTI-TOLL campaign! 5. Keep OUTA as our Representative Voice Running by contributions! 6. Put up Anti SANRAL signs on our Rear Windscreens & Bumpers! 7. Begin a "Lights-On Campaign" to show solidarity to Anti Tolls! 8. Demand that SANRAL make Public their Confidential Documents & Deals! 9. Just ignore their THREATS of FINES and SWAMP them with HUGE Paperwork! 10. Gauteng Motorists MUST JOIN the COSATU MARCHES - Showing Mass Unity! I Rest My Case! DO NOT BUY AN e-TAG! EVER!

      SarelJBotha - 2012-12-01 18:48

      Also start paying current tolls with smallest change you can.

  • John - 2012-12-01 00:04

    SANRAL has NO authority over private travellers! Do not engage in intercourse or CONTRACT with their agents. Ask the stupid thug why he has arrested or detained you and violated your constitutional right to FREEDOM. If you are not under LAWFUL ARREST you do NOT have to talk to the thug. If he claims you are under arrest use your costitutional right and remain SILENT!! Say NOTHING! You do NOT produce a drivers licence! That is CONTRACTING with the thug! The thug knows he has no rights if you do not CONTRACT

  • John - 2012-12-01 00:32

    SANRAL is NOT the GOVERNMENT or the STATE. It is a CORPORATE entity that requires your signature on a CONTRACT with which to control you via it's terms and conditions. NEVER sign these unilateral one sided contracts that do not give FULL DISCLOSURE. Do not pay a privately owned CORPORATION to use our roads. The STATE owns NOTHING! They only administer OUR property in trust. Let treasury pay the R19 billion instead of us paying R71 billion to SANRAL CORPORATION. WE will have to pay either way! YOU CHOOSE!!

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-12-01 07:55

    I think I'm beginning to like this Cosatu!!!

  • sipho.zuma.796 - 2012-12-01 09:16

    Someone needs to take away their power. They are out of control.

      mammudi.makgaleng.3 - 2012-12-01 19:31

      Maybe you are the one benefiting from Corruption and stupidity (Nkandlagate) that's y u write this nonsense

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-12-01 12:20

    Go cosatu go. I think we need more whiteys backing them up. Let's get together on this one guys. I'll take my scooter to the highways and back them.

  • francois.j.botma - 2012-12-01 14:08

    "Don't be arrogant with power, because we as workers will take that power and then you will be ordinary people". The most peaceful way to do this is with your votes!

  • dave.hardman - 2012-12-01 14:16

    Can't this crowd see the writing on the wall? Governments, Kingdoms and Empires have been toppled because of greedy tax laws. Is this a corrupt deal, driven by greed. It is my hope that common sense will prevail before a Bambatha type rebellion.

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-12-01 18:46

    1. The law of contract is simple. You want payment, show me the original contract with my original signature on it. 2. I reserve all my common law rights strictly, including those of the right to free travel end use of the roads and FREEways,without any hindrence.

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