Today's Labour News

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cosatuBL PREMIUM writes that the e-tolls saga that has haunted the ANC since the implementation of the electronic tolling system on Gauteng highways in 2013 has set President Cyril Ramaphosa on a collision course with Cosatu.  

With just a few months before national elections, the president will be going toe to toe with the trade union federation over the issue.  On Friday, hundreds of Cosatu members will march to his office at the Union Buildings in Pretoria to demand that he scrap the user-pays model, which the federation says is unaffordable and harms the poor and working class.  This will be the first time Cosatu has protested against the president since he took office.  The campaign was inspired by finance minister Tito Mboweni’s point during his mid-term budget policy statement last Wednesday that “if we want a road transport infrastructure that works, we need to pay our tolls”.  Mboweni said the government was committed to the user-pays principle as it was the most efficient and effective way to ensure “direct benefits of services were paid for by those who use them”.  Those few words awakened a sleeping dog that had been calmed by the government’s mixed messages over the years as calls grew for the tolls to be scrapped.  Cosatu has no plans to relent on its calls for the system to be done away with, having challenged it since before the toll gates lit up on the province’s highways.

  • Read this report by Theto Mahlakoana in full at BL Premium (paywall access)

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