Cosatu in e-toll talks

2012-10-05 11:53

Johannesburg - The inter-ministerial committee (IMC) on e-tolling was meeting with the Congress of SA Trade Unions on Friday morning, government spokesperson Thabo Masebe said.

"We are concluding discussions today... government will then go back and consider all the issues," he said.

The IMC had been expected to announce its plans for the implementation of e-tolling in Gauteng on Friday. However, Masebe said this could be delayed because the IMC needed time to discuss the issues raised.

A decision on when to make the announcement would be made later on Friday.

Cosatu has mounted a strong campaign against e-tolling, maintaining it was the wrong way to raise money to maintain the country's major roads.

The government's plans to introduce e-tolling in Gauteng have provoked opposition by motorists and residents of South Africa's economic heartland.

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) said it was clear the government intended to launch e-tolling in Gauteng before a court review took place.

This was judging from the comments made by the transport minister urging the public to buy e-tags this week, it said in a statement.

Can’t be 'half-pregnant'

Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage said: "Since having access to the ETC [electronic toll collection] contract... our expert transport economist’s assessment of the numbers and efficiency of e-tolls has revealed that the plan suffers from oversights and is a most inefficient manner in which to fund the R17bn freeway upgrade."

He said Outa was expecting the IMC to announce it was reducing the e-toll tariff and the capped maximum charge.

"They [will] go on the charm offensive to woo the public into believing this is the best option. We also believe their announcement will include the acceptance of e-tolling by a few entities that were originally opposed to the plan," said Duvenage.

Outa rejected the application of e-tolling under the "user-pays" principle.

"The reality however is that you can’t be 'half-pregnant' on e-tolls. You either e-toll or you don’t."

Cliff Johnston of the SA National Consumer Union said the collection costs and the burden placed on society were independent from the amount charged per kilometre.

"Indeed, as the toll rate per km falls, the collection costs become an increasingly larger percentage of the amount collected. This is the ultimate tragedy of the plan," he said.

Road users would still have to foot the bill of more than R1.1bn per annum to cover the electronic toll collection process.

Forcing e-tolling on citizens a gross injustice

Automobile Association spokesperson Gary Ronald said it was worrying that the ETC contracts remained confidential.

"The public, who are ultimately expected to pay the fees, should be given full view of the entire contract. Until now, all we have seen are few tables from the authorities which vary substantially in the costs and projected revenues, casting serious doubt regarding the authenticity and accuracy of these figures."

Michael Tatalias, CEO of the SA Tourism Services Association, said forcing e-tolling on citizens was a gross injustice.

"[It] implies that citizen's intellect is being taken for granted by the authorities, that they are unable to detect when a planned revenue/tax collection system is a waste of their hard-earned money and time."

Ari Seiris, CEO of the QuadPara Association of SA, said it was concerning that its members were not consulted during the e-toll planning.

"Whilst a solution is currently being sought for people with disabilities, the last proposed tariff structure and policy makes no accommodation for those without transport, but who rely on the generosity of many private individuals to transport them around Gauteng, often using the network of highways," said Seiris.

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  • ianon.ym - 2012-10-05 12:04

    Lets see who wields the power or if COSATU capitulates to hitch a ride on the gravy train.

      alan.gernet - 2012-10-08 10:31

      well put

  • warwick.railton.7 - 2012-10-05 12:09

    Kill this idea already, we are not prepared to be tolled - bottom line anc cadre rubbish.

  • Makri Singh - 2012-10-05 12:10

    my sentiments exactly ianon! it eventually boils down to that scenario. well said

  • David - 2012-10-05 12:16

    The enemy of my enemy is my friend

  • henk.vanrensburg.31 - 2012-10-05 12:22

    Cosatu in bribe talk with the ANC cadres....

  • Shirley Van Heerden - 2012-10-05 12:31

    Why on earth install a system costing R11bn to maintain???? Penny wise, pound foolish... But again, isn't this the moto of the goverment?

      paul.kershaw.18 - 2012-10-05 12:52

      FOOLISH being the key word + a few more descriptive names too.

  • gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-05 12:37

    What have Cosatu actually done besides useless mass action?? Have these misfits actually given any recognition to OUTA for managing to delay the e tolling in the first place before that court ruling was suspiciously overturned. There is an agenda at play between the goverment and cosatu.

  • roelfie - 2012-10-05 12:38

    The only people Cosatu is concerned over are public transport commuters. What is being done for road users with private vehicles? Or those of us using our personal vehicles for business use? Surely those of us who fall under these categories deserve to be counted as well and taken into consideration.

  • elgh.elgh - 2012-10-05 12:41

    They said they will make the announcement today. Now a decision when to make the announcement will be made today. They can't organise a braai on national braai day. This just proves once again that they do not have their ducks in a row and only see $$$ signs.

  • joahan.smal - 2012-10-05 12:41

    Seeing that we are expected to pay for a public road, we must insist that the ETC contracts be opened for scrutiny by the public. WE DEMAND!!!

  • charlesbronson.bronson - 2012-10-05 12:50

    The Government and SANRAL are the biggest corrupted thief's this country ever seen in one go!!!

  • Brian Dorning - 2012-10-05 12:50

    the money has to come from somewhere, maybe try recover some from the corrupt government officials...

  • paul.kershaw.18 - 2012-10-05 12:51

    "We are concluding discussions today... government will then go back and consider all the issues," he said. Yeah right! These thieves have already concluded what they're going to do. and they'll implement it. and then the fan will begin to blow and I think SA will have its own internal Arab Spring. and then these overweight and pompous ANC egoists will learn the hard way that to disrespect those that provide for them will be their downfall. E-toll Never!

  • Dawn Campbell Gibson - 2012-10-05 12:52

    Cant enforce the payment of traffic fines, how do they think they will enforce toll payments?

  • roelfie - 2012-10-05 12:54

    SANRAL (South African National Revenue Accumulation Lackies) goes hand in hand with ANC (African Non-taxpayers Cadre). If they wanted to upgrade our roads, which by the way we never asked for, they should have used all their corrupt money savings to pay for it. The N12 still has not been finished and is a royal mess! Why must I pay for using an uncompleted "off-road track" that poses unforeseen collision hazards? Screw these bastards!

  • jackey.moss - 2012-10-05 12:57

    Get a few bored striking miners and truck drivers next to the gantries....

  • Shane Loxton - 2012-10-05 13:11

    Zuma's house 203 Million, 80% of government pension stolen to buy shares into the E Tolling system, plus many more examples of government waste and miss managment of Tax payers money. I already have my false number plates for my car, catch me if u can

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-10-05 13:13

    As far as I know, taxis and minibuses are still not exempt - a sort of will-you, won't-you, will-you join the dance? Perhaps this what Cosatu is discussing

  • dewalds3 - 2012-10-05 13:15

    The country is burning. This is not a good time for a bad decision from government. They might just feel the heat...

  • Dean Redhead - 2012-10-05 13:16

    listen with all the rubbish in this country that they all call the rainbow nation, i think we should stand behind cosatu because at least they trying to do something, i mean come on how do they think we going to pay for the petrol and the tax food prices everything just goes up, so i give a big hand to cosatu, this whole e toll is rubbish

  • jay.vyas.984 - 2012-10-05 14:08

    I will NOT BUY an e-Tag! I will NOT use the e-Toll Routes! I will NOT even negotiate with SANRAL until ALL Contracts and Secretive Deals linked to this THUGGERY RULE gets OPENED to us Taxpayers! I will DEMAND that such an independent enquiry be empowered to Name / Shame & Re-Coup the LOOTED Tax Monies to be recovered! I will NOT Accept any Capitulation of reduced Toll Fees! I will expect a Full Audit of Govt Duties & Tax on every SA Litre Rand! I will demand an explanation why the Taxi Industry is to be Exempt! I will FIND a Family living outside Gauteng to re-register my Car! SCAMRAL, You can Kiss My e-Toll & My e-Tag!PROVE YOU ARE NOT CORRUPT!

  • clive.wannenburg - 2012-10-05 14:25

    ANC biggest mistake is enforcing this law, it is the one thing all South African on the street are standing up against together and so it begins the begining of the end. I fear Cosatu is only looking for there handout and not for that of the man on the street.

  • jason.rom.9 - 2012-10-06 12:33

    another party to make money off the south Africans

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