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ANC MPs have once again shown how disconnected they are with the reality on the ground and how little committed they are to building a united South Africa with a common national identity. Their contention that Outa is representing and defending only those who are white and rich defies logic. It is shocking that ANC MPs are so blissfully unaware of COSATU’s and the SACP’s stern opposition to e-tolling. It damages the little remaining credibility that the ANC has to try and spin a new story that is entirely fictional. Furthermore, Outa never supported e-tolling at any stage and to pull that out of the hat shows the political bankruptcy of the ANC.

The ANC must recognise that even its own supporters in Gauteng are against e-tolling. The way in which e-tolling was being forced down the throat of motorists and the financial modelling of it has been repugnant to motorists in Gauteng. The poor and the jobless of Gauteng are also dismayed that e-tolling will further shrivel economic opportunities for them. If the government of Gauteng was to hold a referendum on the matter, the people will overwhelmingly reject the imposition of e-tolls.

COPE reiterates its opposition to e-tolling. Government cannot impose e-tolling on top of a petrol levy which has for long been in place. That levy was meant to be ring-fenced for construction of roads and that is where the funds should have come from for the road improvements that were made. It is only the fat cats in the ANC who want e-tolling to grow fatter still. Citizens will have none of it.

David Makhura promised to resolve this matter prior to the general elections. He failed to deliver on his promise. With local government elections just around the bend the ANC should show its boldness and put up e-tolling as the lead item on its manifesto. That way, the people will show whether they support Outa or the ANC.

Issued Dennis Bloem, COPE spokesperson

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