Cosatu and ANC to plead for e-toll postponement

The Congress of South African Trade Unions and the ANC will ask Cabinet to postpone implementation of the e-tolls for a month.

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi tweeted late on Thursday afternoon, “ANC and Cosatu leadership agreed to postpone etolls by month to allow task team more time to explore alternative funding.”

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven told the Mail & Guardian: “A decision has been made to ask government to postpone the e-tolls for a month to allow more time for the task team looking for alternative funding [for the tolls] to continue their work.”

The ANC said: “The leadership has collectively agreed to postpone the implementation of the e-toll collection system by a month. This will give the task team more time to explore alternative funding mechanisms.”

Vavi said the mass protest action planned for Monday will also be delayed.

Meanwhile, a ruling on whether the e-tolling of Gauteng’s highways will go ahead next week will be handed down in the North Gauteng High Court on Saturday, despite this announcement.

“I plan to give judgment at 11am on Saturday,” Judge Bill Prinsloo said. “The matter stands until then.”

If an interdict preventing e-tolling in Gauteng was granted, it could be in effect for the rest of the year, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Thursday.

“If the interdict is granted, in all legal reality, it must stand until the end of litigation, which would not be set to end any time soon … maybe until the end of the year,” said treasury lawyer Jeremy Gauntlett.

This was due to the time required for the review, as well as further court hearings and appeals.

He said if the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) defaulted on one month of its payment, the government would have to pay its entire debt.

“It does not mean that government would not be able to meet it [the debt], it has to, but at what cost? For this country to sustain R20-billion in unbudgeted capital is a serious matter,” Gauntlett said.

He said the government would have to neglect other social and economic obligations to pay off the debt.

“The milk has been spilt with regards to the roads, and people are using them. The issue now is how to pay for them. It has to be paid for. You can say you don’t like it, but you can’t say that it is irrational.”

He said the previous four delays to the e-toll system had come at a “great cost”. — additional reporting by Sapa

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

Stella set to retain her perks

Communication minister will keep Cabinet perks during her two months of special leave

Not a sweet deal, Mister

Mister Sweet workers say they will not risk their health, and the lives of others, to continue producing and packaging confectionaries

Covid-19 grounds Nigeria’s medical tourists

The country’s elites, including the president, travelled abroad for treatment but now they must use the country’s neglected health system

Nehawu launches urgent court bid over protective gear for health...

The health workers’ union says the government has rebuffed its attempts to meet about mitigating risks to workers

Press Releases

Rahima Moosa Hospital nursing college introduces no-touch facial recognition access system

The new system allows the hospital to enrol people’s faces immediately, using artificial intelligence, and integrates easily with existing access control infrastructure, including card readers and biometrics

Everyone’s talking about it. Even Kentucky

Earlier this year South African fried chicken fast-food chain, Chicken Licken®, launched a campaign for their wallet-friendly EasyBucks® meals, based on the idea of ‘Everyone’s talking about it.’

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world