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ADD 14 cents to the price of each litre of fuel, says Cosatu, suggesting this could be used to fund Gauteng’s recently built roads.
According to Cosatu discussion documents, motorists from all the provinces should bear the brunt of the roads’ costs, not just those in Gauteng – through a fuel levy.
Cosatu national spokesman
Patrick Craven said this was one of the options being considered in discussions between the trade union federation and the ANC on how to fund the toll roads.
“There is no new policy we have come up with. We are still working with the ANC on the best alternative funding methods and we are looking at different options,” he said.
There are also road upgrades in other provinces like KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, and they should also be funded by all motorists equally, Craven said.
In Cosatu’s discussion papers on the funding of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, the organisation states that good infrastructure will benefit the entire country and not just Gauteng road users.
It argues that Gauteng’s roads are widely used by many people, in many industries and professions throughout the country for transportation, as it is the “economic heart of South Africa”.
Other provinces should contribute to the cost of Gauteng roads because the province paid more than its fair share to the economy, and four times more than it received from the national treasury. “Gauteng residents do not bemoan this and realise that the government needs to distribute the wealth from the economic hub to the entire country infrastructure.
“If you are going to push a user-pay principle, then on this basis, Gauteng citizens have more than paid for their freeway improvements,” the papers state.
The Sunday Independent reported that deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe will meet Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi after it was said that he had convinced the ANC, which was initially swayed by Cosatu, to change its consideration of scrapping the e-tolls.
This is why the ANC last week endorsed the cabinet’s decision to appeal against the Pretoria High Court ruling to interdict the collection of the levies on the e-tolls pending a full court review.
Vavi rejected an earlier comment by Motlanthe that a decision taken by the ANC and Cosatu to delay the Gauteng e-tolls by a month was “just a suggestion”.
In April, while the Pretoria High Court was hearing the e-toll arguments, Vavi also said he had no doubt that the government was “going to learn the hard way again with the Constitutional Court when it fails in this application”.
On April 28, the high court handed down an order preventing the SA National Roads Agency Ltd from levying or collecting e-tolls pending the outcome of a judicial review.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan applied to the Constitutional Court to set aside this court order.
Gordhan argued that Judge Bill Prinsloo had ignored the principle of separation of powers.