South Africa’s trade union umbrella has launched a defiance campaign against the tolling of upgraded roads in the country’s heartland province of Gauteng.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions is urging motorists not to pay for using the roads and to burn any bills they get sent by the company collecting the tolls.
Gauteng provincial secretary of COSATU Dumisani Dakile says they’ll be ceremonially burning toll bills in front of the offices of the South Africa National Roads Agency Limited.
He calls on the public to bring their bills to collectively torched as part of the defiance campaign.
It’s reminiscent of the apartheid era when liberation movements urged black South Africans to burn the identity documents they were required by law to carry at all times.
Opponents of the toll roads say they accept the user pays principle when it’s applied to newly-built motorways.
But they’re refusing to be charged for using existing roads that have been upgraded.
The defiance campaign has been ratcheted up new provincial premier David Makhura establishing a review panel to probe the impact of the system in the province.
COSATU says the panel should be given time and space to do its job.
Meanwhile there should be no prosecution for those refusing to pay tolls.