DURBAN - The African National Congress Youth League in the Greater KwaDukuza region in KwaZulu-Natal province said on Tuesday it supported a protracted strike at tolling company Intertoll.

Workers affiliated to the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union downed tools at the firm last Monday, demanding salary increases from R2,900 to R6,000 a month, and also that the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) take over management.

Intertoll is contracted to Sanral to manage four of its toll plazas in the country, including the Mvoti Toll Plaza on the N2 in Groutville. During the strike which turned violent last week, workers burnt down the Mvoti toll office.

The strike caused major traffic delays during peak-hours at the toll plazas on the N2 between Mtunzini and Tongaat as well as on the N3 at Mariannhill, near Pinetown in the province on Monday. 

The ANCYL said it stood in solidarity with the workers, and condemned what it called the exploitation of young black locals who only occupied junior positions at the company.

"The company offers a salary that is way below the living wage and yet it continues to enjoy the profits it generates from the public. We are also concerned by the way that the company is approaching this issue, their arrogance and condescension towards their own staff," it said.

"Intertoll has categorically proven to the fullest extent that it has no interest in the welfare of its black workers and ... we cannot stand idly by when this company continues to suck the blood of our brothers and sisters while they make huge profits out of the tolling system."

The ANCYL said workers should only resume work once an amicable solution was reached. 

"Should this be the case, workers must be advanced with their back-pay and further be offered a decent salary that is within the minimum wage," it said.

African News Agency/ANA