2 minute read
5 Nov 2014
11:51 am

DA protests against e-tolls

Dozens of DA members gathered outside the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) offices in Pretoria on Wednesday to protest against the e-tolling system in Gauteng.

The DA outside the Gauteng e-toll review panel where they are holding a protest. Picture: @DA_News twitter

Dressed in blue party T-shirts, they carried placards reading “Which ANC must we believe”, and “Premier, Minister: Scrap e-tolls now”.

A few of the women in the crowd carried young children, with one toddler wearing a Democratic Alliance shirt and cap.

“We won’t pay,” the group chanted.

A large speaker powered by a generator blasted from the back of a van.

Addressing the protesters DA MPL Solly Msimanga said they had had enough of being “milked dry”.

“Our children and our great-grandchildren will have to continue paying for tolls,” he said.

This was unfair and government should find other ways to settle the existing e-toll debt, said Msimanga.

In the building, a review panel appointed by Gauteng premier David Makhura in July to examine the economic and social impact of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project and the e-tolling system set up to fund it, continued its hearings.

Sanral and the transport department were scheduled to testify on why e-tolling should stay.

“These people are scared of us. They won’t come out to address us,” said one protester.

DA spokeswoman Phumzile van Damme said the ANC itself was confused about the tolls.

“Cosatu says it doesn’t want the tolls,” she said.

“No one wants the tolls except Sanral and the department of transport.”

The group eventually dispersed.

“I think we’ve made our point and we’ll continue like this until e-tolls are scrapped,” said Van Damme.

In a statement, Sanral said it was surprised by the DA’s protest.

Spokesman Vusi Mona claimed the agency had not been informed about the protest and no permission for it had been granted.

Mona said the DA had presented its views on the e-tolls and should allow Sanral to do the same.

“They did so without any form of outside protest and disturbance. It is a pity that they do not want to extend this basic courtesy to other institutions which are exercising the same right,” said Mona.

The panel was expected to present its findings to Makhura at the end of the month.