PRETORIA - The controversial e-tolls on Gauteng's freeways have no future as long as the African National Congress (ANC) remains in charge, Gauteng Premier and provincial ANC chairperson David Makhura said on Friday.
“The e-tolls have no future in the plans of this province, as long as as the ANC is in charge. The e-tolls can only have a future in this Gauteng if the ANC is not in charge," Makhura said.
Makhura led thousands of ANC members, marching with Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu), the South African Communist Party, civic society organisations like Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) and members of the public on a march to the Union Buildings, demanding that e-tolls be scrapped.
He said the majority of people who drive past the e-tolls daily are the working class, the middle class South Africans.
The large crowd also protested against high data costs and the value added tax (VAT) increase on basic food items.
"The e-tolls were given a chance but they failed. They have failed totally and completely. We cannot deal with the debt by hoping that the money will come from the tolls. We are not irresponsible, we want that debt to be paid, we know there is a debt. Let us look at alternative forms of funding to pay off that debt once and for all," he said.
"Data is affecting the economy. It's not just affecting young people. Our economy is not able to grow because the cost of data is too much. Data increases the cost of doing business, and it also increases the cost of living."
The protesters' memorandum was received by Minister Jeff Radebe, on behalf of Ramaphosa.