COSATU NW Rejects Sanral Proposal on Expensive Toll [press release]

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the NW has rejected the proposal of Sanral yesterday the reduction of the most expensive toll gate in South Africa on our N4 road in the NW.

Sanral responded that they will not be able to reduce the toll due to the concession contract which they have with government for the next 17 years, which means that the poor communities and the motorists using the N4 will continue to be exploited, ripped off of their money due the concession contract which we are not part of.

It is reported in their submission that the concession contract places them to take care of the N4 highway for 30 years, including the maintenance and improvement of the road. Yet we have had so many accident on that N4 road, we are losing the lives of poor workers and poor communities on that same expensive road, so what are we paying for, at R75 per small car?

Sanral is worried about the breach of contract if the fees are reduced, but they are not worried about the burden they have placed on to the poor motorists of the NW and the public. They are even lying to the minister that the people of the NW are happy about the fees, which is not true.

They are confirming that their white farmer friends are paying R3-R4 and others are paying R17, while the poor working class are paying R75, which is what Sanral is celebrating.

We have demanded the following in all memorandums, which we were informed in the meeting are up for discussion, and the minister also refused to increase the toll fee due to these issues that we raised:

bull Reduce the toll fee R20, and our provincial government proposed that it must be reduced to R58

bull Extend the radius to Mafikeng and Brits for the frequent users of the N4

bull The alternative road for those who will not pay the toll fees.

bull The state of our road including the N4 which is in the high way but you still find animals on the road Where is the safety?

bull The improvement of our local communities, in particular those who live next to the toll gate

bull The employment of the poor communities, in particular young people.

None of those issues are addressed by Sanral and Bakwena. What they do is to give us contradictory statements, in particular on the money they spend on social investment in the community, which they have not done anywhere.

Sanral is making a lot of money from the poor working class they must respect those poor working class.

bull We want the extension of the radius,

bull We want jobs,

bull We want the expensive toll fee to be reduced,

bull We want an alternative road,

bull We do not want public hearings on e-tags registration no-one must attend them before we resolve all issues.

Sanral must stop to insult the poor working class they must stop undermining the ANC and its alliance.

bull We call on all motorists to boycott the toll fee during this festive season,

bull We call on all motorists to refuse to pay R75,

bull We call on all of to start take the campaign seriously to expose corruption that took place during that signing of the concession contract in 2001.

bull We call on all motorists who experienced the damage of widescreen or any part of his car due to the current road construction on the N4 road to report that to the police.

Serious action must be taken against the contractor and Bakwena. Some of us we have already suffered from the poor construction that is taking place and for the second time our cars are damaged.

Let us meet at the expensive toll gate today at 17H00

Source : Congress of South African Trade Unions