The ANC in Gauteng, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) and civil society organisations marched to the Union Buildings on Friday to tell the ANC government that e-tolls need to be scrapped.
Thousands marched through the streets of Tshwane on Friday morning calling for an end to e-tolls. They also protested against high data costs and a VAT increase on basic food items.
Gauteng ANC chairperson David Makhura was criticised for marching against the national leadership.
However, he told reporters that there was no contradiction in the ANC marching against government policies like the e-tolls because of the separation of party and state.
“Those who are in government will have to be put under pressure by the ANC. There is no contradiction,” Makhura told reporters before the march.
“The ANC is the leader of society and the ANC must always take a lead on all issues affecting the people.”
“We are ready to explore the alternative with the president. We are here to strengthen Ramaphosa, not [to] go against him.
“We want ministers to keep quiet while we explore other options,” he said.
Speaking to the marchers on the lawns of the Union Buildings, Makhura said e-tolls were given a chance but “failed totally and completely”.
“We have decided to come here to make a very clear statement for all to know that the e-tolls have no future in the plans of this province as long as the ANC is in charge.”
This march, attended by thousands of civilians, comes after newly appointed finance minister Tito Mboweni commented in his mid-term budget speech that “we need to pay our tolls” for a better transport system.
Data service providers recently came under scrutiny at the Competition Commission Data Market Inquiry in Pretoria, where the ANC reiterated in its submission to the inquiry that data costs must fall.
“I have spoken to the president about the high cost of data. Data costs must fall,” Makhura said to rousing applause.
Makhura also took a swipe at Mayor of Tshwane Solly Msimanga for doing nothing about e-tolls despite saying he would if he became the mayor of Tshwane.
“He (Msimanga) has been in office for two years, he hasn’t done anything on e-tolls.”
“Shame on him,” Makhura said.
The ANC chairperson also ridiculed Msimanga for running as the DA’s candidate for Gauteng premier – a position that Makhura currently holds.
“Now, how do you take a man who can’t run a metro, to run a complex province?”
The ANC and civil society groups in its memorandum are demanding the scrapping of e-tolls, alternative options to explore debt in Gauteng, an improved public transport system, an immediate review of the petrol price, a model to expand access to the internet in poor areas, to name a few.
Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe accepted and signed the memorandum on behalf of Ramaphosa.
“The president is not here to receive the memorandum as he is in Cape Town to fight gangsterism. I will go back to him to present this memorandum over to him tomorrow,” he assured demonstrators.
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Publish date : 2018-11-02 15:24:05