Provincial Cosatu to fight e-tolls
Sep 30 2013 4:08PM

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Sandile Motha

Cosatu in KwaZulu-Natal will not support e-tolling, provincial general secretary Zet Luzipho said on Saturday.

The federation’s move comes after President Jacob Zuma signed the transport laws and related matters amendment bill into law last week, giving the green light to e-tolls.

“As the leadership of Cosatu, we are quite disappointed by this move by our government. Cosatu in KZN will reject and defy this move with all its might, as it threatens to convert genuine revolutionaries into criminals.

“This demonstrates the influence of both power and of private monopoly capital and that it will stop at nothing to suck the blood of the working class,” Luzipho said.

The controversial bill had received widespread condemnation by civic organisations, opposition parties with the ANC alliance partners, Cosatu being in the forefront.

The bill was passed by the National Council of Provinces in May and provides for electronic and cross-border collection of toll fees. It has been on Zuma’s desk for three months.

E-tolls was supposed to have been active by April 2011, but was delayed amid public opposition.

Last month, Sanral said e-tolls would not cost motorists a fortune, saying about 82.3% of motorists would pay a mere R100 a month.

Responding to a parliamentary question by the DA last Monday, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said the SA National Road Agency was set to spend R85m on advertising e-tolling plans in Gauteng this year alone.

At Friday’s briefing the trade union federation also commented on the McCord Hospital debacle, saying that it welcomed interventions by provincial MEC for health Sibongiseni Dhlomo and the government’s commitment to take over the beleaguered hospital.

Cosatu however was cautious about the agreement between the provincial government and McCord’s board of directors on the temporary closure of the health facility, in that it might be in of contempt of court.

“We have no doubt that the government intervened in good faith over the fiasco at the hospital, but such agreement shouldn’t overlook the happenings in court. Considering that Nehawu lodged the interdict, we believe they should have been part of the agreement to give assertion on the temporal closure,” Luzipho said.

Cosatu said there had been rumours surfacing about the board at McCord securing a certificate to function as a private facility elsewhere.

“As long as we still have two health care systems – public and private – challenges and crises will continue to confront us.”

sandilem@thenewage.co.za

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