Govt condemns vandalism talk of e-tolling system

Friday, November 30, 2012

Pretoria - Government has strongly condemned talks of violence or vandalism around the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP). 

This follows the alleged warning by Cosatu's provincial secretary Dumisani Dakile who was quoted in the media saying they would demolish the Gauteng e- toll gantries if government failed to scrap the tolls.

"Government respects the rights of any organised formation or individuals to engage in public demonstration. Government believes that those engaging in public demonstration should do so within the law.

"Government will not tolerate destruction of property or disregard for the effort that goes into making South Africa a better place. Government calls on those who will be taking part in the planned march to act within the law," said the Inter- Ministerial Committee on the GFIP, in a statement on Friday. 

Cosatu has organised a protest march for today - in Tshwane and Johannesburg - against the Gauteng e-tolling system. 

Business Unity South Africa (Busa) said while they acknowledged that the protest march against e-tolling was protected, they however felt the rule of law should be respected and protesters should refrain from intimidation and violence.

"BUSA condemns the demolition of the e-toll gantries as being outside the recognized rules of engagement for protest action. 

"We call on all those that will be partaking in the protest action to be responsible. Should any violence erupt and if property is damaged, we call on government to take strong action and for COSATU to take responsibility and be held accountable," said Busa in a statement. 

Meanwhile, the Tshwane Metro Police said they were ready for the protest march and they will work with members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) to ensure that the march proceeded smoothly.

In terms of the permission granted by the metro police the protesters will gather on the intersection of Sophie De Bruyn and Johannes Ramokhoase streets at 9:30am. 

The march will commence at 10h00 and proceed southwards on Sophie de Bruyn, then turn left (eastwards) into Madiba street. 

The protestors will then turn right into Bosman Street, proceed north and turn right into Struben Street, where they will hand a memorandum at the national Department of Transport. 

The department is situated on Struben Street, between Bosman and Paul Kruger Streets. 

From the Transport Department, they will proceed westwards on Struben Street and turn right (southwards) into Thabo Sehume and hand the second memorandum at the national Department of Finance, which is situated on the intersection of Thabo Sehume and Madiba Streets. 

Later, they will proceed southwards again on Thabo Sehume and turn right (westwards) into Visagie street where they will gather for the purposes of wrapping up at the City hall, on the intersection Visagie and Paul Kruger streets.

It is expected that the march will end at 2pm and traffic flow will be disrupted at the time when the march will be proceeding on through the city centre. 

Street closures will be effected only when and as the march proceeds through intersections. There will therefore not be long street closures. However, a traffic gridlock is expected.

Motorists are advised to exercise patience and add extra time when in the city centre. -