Source: IOL

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) welcomes the official scrapping of e-tolls. This is a victory for the working class and motorists in general who fought against e-tolls and actively boycotted paying them.

In coordination with the labour movement and civil society organisations such as OUTA, the residents in Gauteng have successfully repelled e-tolls. But by announcing the scrapping of e-tolls, the ruling party is conveniently attempting to turn their worst defeat inflicted by workers into a weapon for electioneering.

However, the Gauteng provincial government has said those with outstanding e-toll debt are still obliged to settle that debt. SAFTU rejects this debt that has accumulated over the years and encourages motorists not to pay, just as they have successfully refused to pay over the years.

From the onset, the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) has struggled to collect e-toll charges because residents of Gauteng refused the commodification of their roads in more than a decade-long battle. The “user-pay” principle is a method through which pro-capitalist governments and the private sector seek to commodify basic goods and services. It feeds into market liberalists’ desire to turn every sphere of our life into a site of accumulation, from commodifying water to electricity. The working class must guard against and resist the “user-pay” or “cost-recovery” models in public services and infrastructure wherever they rear their ugly heads and in whatever form they appear.

Please follow and like us: