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Cosatu welcomes toll committee

Cosatu on Friday welcomed a Cabinet decision to appoint a special committee for Gauteng freeways, but maintained that e-tolling was not acceptable.

“We are confident that it will find a more equitable and efficient model than e-tolling, which has become so discredited, unpopular and impractical,” the Congress of SA Trade Unions said.

A toll gate on the N1 North just before the Beyers Naude offramp in Gauteng. Photo: Dumisani Sibeko. Credit: Independent Newspapers

Earlier in the day, Cabinet announced a special committee would be formed to co-ordinate all work around the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP).

The committee's brief is to move rapidly to ensure that the financial stability of the SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) was unaffected.

Cosatu said in a statement it expected the committee would work closely with the ANC and Cosatu's joint task team.

This team had already started researching alternative models for funding road construction and improvements.

Cosatu said it agreed with Minister of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Collins Chabane, who said earlier on Friday that decisions taken regarding the GFIP would impact on future infrastructure funding.

“Cosatu fully agrees that the government must act responsibly, and ensure it and state-owned enterprises honour their financial obligations timeously.”

Cosatu said it would insist that e-tolling was no longer an option. Other ways had to be found to meet the government's objectives.

Chabane said the government had to act responsibly, and ensure it and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) honoured their financial obligations timeously, he said.

“Government must also ensure that nothing compromises the huge infrastructure programme which is crucial for raising the level of South Africa's economic growth, and for raising the standard of living of citizens, especially the poor and unemployed.”

Sanral had planned to introduce e-tolling in Gauteng on May 1.

However, a court ruling issued on Saturday halted the e-tolling plans pending the outcome of a full court review. - Sapa

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