Friday’s planned march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria by the Gauteng region of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), is irresponsible, illogical and will further damage an ailing South African economy.
This is according to the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) company, which manages e-tolls in Gauteng.
ETC argues that e-tolls are, in fact, pro-poor since they are reserved for wealthier South Africans who can afford to drive private motor vehicles. Public buses and taxis meanwhile, are exempt from paying e-tolls.
While COSATU rejects e-tolling in its current form, ETC says they do not offer a workable alternative. The company argues that OUTA’s suggestion to use an additional fuel levy is illogical, stating that the already high price of fuel in the country impacts the very people the Congress represents, countrywide.
Fuel levies in South Africa are not ring fenced, it says, and so monies obtained in this way disappear into the general fiscus. ETC further points out that COSATU has supported various campaigns against the rising price of fuel in South Africa this year.
Furthermore ETC believes that, with phase two of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project on hold, plans to connect several impoverished communities like Tembisa and Soweto to employment opportunities, continue to be denied. Apartheid spatial planning is therefore not being eradicated.
ETC concludes that, as a tripartite alliance member, COSATU will effectively be marching against itself this week. But despite this, ETC says it is open to dialogue to better understand COSATU’s views.