Cosatu in Gauteng has issued an ultimatum to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula to make an announcement soon on the scrapping of e-tolls in the province. According to a report in The Citizen, Cosatu warned that it would be left with no option but to protest on the day of the local government elections, scheduled for 27 October, if the announcement is not made before the end of September. ‘We call all motorists in Gauteng to continue to support our campaign and not pay their so-called e-tolls accounts. In case Minister Mbalula is not going to make an announcement favorable to our demands by the end of September, Cosatu in Gauteng will be left with no option but to protest on election day,' said Amos Monyela, Cosatu’s Gauteng chairperson, in a statement.
The trade union federation was reacting to comments made by newly-appointed Deputy Minister of Transport, Sindisiwe Chikunga, who said that Gauteng motorists would have to continue paying for the controversial scheme, despite the widespread rejection of e-tolls. She also compared the e-tolls to taxes levied on motorists in the 1700s to develop the country’s road infrastructure. Monyela said they were disappointed by the ‘ill-informed utterances’ Chikunga made on the e-tolls, saying she had exposed her limited understanding of the reasons behind the rejection of the road user-payer system.