Cosatu’s anti-toll protest continues

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iol news pic Cosatu e toll protest 7

@_cosatu/Twitter

The N3 highway was closed for a short while by protesters in a drive-slow motorcade against e-tolling. Photo: @_cosatu/Twitter

Johannesburg -

The Cosatu-led anti-toll protest trundled on around Johannesburg on Thursday afternoon to a cacophony of hooting and shouts of support from people lining the highways.

On the R24 near the Barbara Road offramp in Ekurhuleni, east of Johannesburg, cars joined the convoy of anti-toll protesters, including a truck which blared out music as it snaked through the bypass, which is intended to be part of a pay-per-use road.

Roadside workers and people in shops and offices stopped their business to watch the spectacle, which was massively marshalled by police officials.

Only one lane out of the four usually filled with cars was open for the protest involving around 50 vehicles spanning about a kilometre.

When they reached a gantry at the OR Tambo International Airport, in Kempton Park, everybody stopped their cars and hooted, got out and danced on the road, only to be hustled back into their vehicles by the police.

They then slowly took the split for the R21 to Pretoria.

Further afield, on the N3 to Pretoria, another convoy of protesters was in the area of the Buccleuch interchange, also approaching a toll gantry.

Last week, Congress of SA Trade Union (Cosatu) officials said they would take down the gantries to show their opposition to tolls, but have since said that they will not.

A truck driver believed that demolishing the toll gantries was the way to go.

“They should demolish those stupid things. We are already paying for these roads... and now they want to charge us double.”

Johannesburg metro police spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said no bicycles were allowed to be part of the “drive-slow” protest.

Vehicles which were not part of the protest and which blocked traffic would be towed away.

Protesters want the e-toll system dropped.

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance has brought a court application to have the e-toll project scrapped, but a ruling has yet to be made.

Protesters have until 2pm for their action, according to the permission granted. - Sapa


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