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Shopsteward Volume 27: Special Bulletin

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Media Centre  |  COSATU Press Statements

Fight resumes against Swartruggens expensive toll gate

9 December 2014

The Congress of South African Trade Unions, with its affiliates, is highly disappointed in the manner that the national transport officials, Sanral and Bakwena are dealing with the issue of the expensive toll gate.

It is clear from the report that we are not going to agree with submissions of Sanral and Bakwena on increasing the radius. We submitted that the radius must include workers from Mafikeng and Madibeng, but in their submissions they still keep telling us about their concession contract obligations and close out discussion of the exploitation of the poor motorists and the poor working class of the NW.
It is clear that we are not going to agree on anything that will benefit the majority of workers. The expensive toll gate is a burden to everybody who uses the N4 road, not only the people of Swartruggens, Zeerust, Groot Marico and Kgetleng municipality. It affects all our working class and there will be no communication awareness for the local people to register before the matters are resolved by the task team appointed by the minister. Sanral and Bakwena are worried about their concession plan, not about pain that poor workers are getting from that toll gate.

We called for reduction of the toll fee which is a burden to the motorists and the poor working class. We were not there when the concession contract was signed, and we were never consulted.

We call for the alternative road, not the current Boshhoek road they are proposing. What they are saying about the new alternative road is that they want to make money again from the poor. They are confirming that the exploitation and stripping off the people of the NW will remain for the next 17 years or more so they can continue to make profits from the poor motorists.

We have been engaging for too long with no resolutions. We were misled by the officials of the transport indicating that there will be a solution. Now we are in the festive season and we are invited to an awareness campaign for registration.
We need full, detailed resolutions of all issues we raised in our memorandums. We need to know about the state of NW roads which continue taking the lives of our communities every day and every weekend, due to poor roads in our province.
Just last weekend we lost over 10 people on the Delareyville to Atamelang road. Accidents are happening on the same N4 road where we are paying R75 per small car and over R235 per truck. We call on our government to take charge of our roads in the NW, if we have to pay for our road, it must benefit the people of the NW, not the Guptas.

We have delayed our program with a view that the minister is intervening from the meeting of 9th November 2014, but it is clear that we will not get there. We now have no option but to proceed with our action against the expensive toll gate and fighting for the development of our young people.
We are going back to the toll gate as follows”:
• Date: 12th December 2014.
• Time: from 16h00 to the next day the 13th December 2014
• The night vigil will start exactly 19h00 and it will end anytime from 6ham in the morning of the 13th December 2014.

We call on all motorists not to drive fast from 17h00 and we request them to support our campaign for the reduction of this expensive toll gate.
We call on all our members, members of the alliance, and members of the communities in the NW to support the fight against this expensive toll gate

We submitted our application last week, the 4th December 2014 and we will continue with our program. We are aware that the municipality is deliberately not convening the Section Four meeting to deal with conditions. They are also calling it a fight between the workers and the police and we are ready for that to fight for our rights if that is what they want.
We will be attending the three-a-side meeting on 11th December 2014 at the Department of Transport to listen what Sanral is saying but we will not compromise the workers’ mandate that must be very clear to SANRAL and Bakwena.
More information call COSATU NW Provincial Secretary Solly Phetoe [0823044055]