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Pensioner stands firm in e-toll protest

Johannesburg - For one hour everyday, 68-year-old Cavey Parker stands on a bridge over the N1 highway, defiantly displaying his banners .

“Proudly E-Tag free” and “Hoot against Etoll”, the banners read with a coffin on the side. This, he says, symbolises his hopes that “Scamral” and its etolls will soon perish.

Every day 68-year-old Cavey Parker stands on top of a bridge with his banners against E-tolls and waves the South African flag to motorists on the N1 during peak traffic hours to protest against E-tolls. Picture: Paballo ThekisoEvery day 68-year-old Cavey Parker stands on top of a bridge with his banners against E-tolls and waves the South African flag to motorists on the N1 during peak traffic hours to protest against E-tolls. Picture: Paballo ThekisoEvery day 68-year-old Cavey Parker stands on top of a bridge with his banners against E-tolls and waves the South African flag to motorists on the N1 during peak traffic hours to protest against E-tolls. Picture: Paballo ThekisoEvery day 68-year-old Cavey Parker stands on top of a bridge with his banners against E-tolls and waves the South African flag to motorists on the N1 during peak traffic hours to protest against E-tolls. Picture: Paballo ThekisoEvery day 68-year-old Cavey Parker stands on top of a bridge with his banners against E-tolls and waves the South African flag to motorists on the N1 during peak traffic hours to protest against E-tolls. Picture: Paballo Thekiso

The pensioner is one of a group of anti-e-toll protesters who show their disgust and disapproval on various bridges around Johannesburg asking motorists to hoot if they agree with their gripe.

“I’m opposed to e-tolls because it’s putting the price of food and transport up, and it’s going to affect the poor people. What happened to the petrol levy we’re paying for?

“I’m a pensioner and I cannot afford e-tolls,” he said.

This week, the review panel set up by Gauteng Premier David Makhura to assess the socio-economic impact of e-tolls started engagements with different stakeholders including the general public, trade unions and The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa).

The panel is expected to submit its findings and recommendations to the premier and cabinet by the end of November.

“We hope the government will listen to the will of the people and stop e-tolls, not only in Gauteng but the rest of the country as well,” says Parker.

“Looking from the bridge, I can see many cars without e-tags and this means motorists support our cause to have e-tolls abandoned.”

The energetic man chats while waving his flag to motorists who are respond by blowing their hooters loudly, supporting him.

But it wasn’t without drama for the pensioner from Roodepoort.

About seven Johannesburg Metro Police Department officers arrived and confiscated his banners.

“You can’t do this, people will bump each other because of you,” they told him this week. “Where is your car? You don’t even have a car but you’re protesting against e-tolls.”

But Cavey did not let the JMPD’s attempt to silence him, deter him from his cause.

“With or without banners I will return to this bridge every day and protest against E-tolls. The dice is on: who will be first in the box, me or them? We will win! R.I.P Scamral!” said the stubborn e-toll activist, pushing his empty trolley back home.

Saturday  Star

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