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'Illegal' toll protest called off

2012-03-29 07:52

NO TO E-TOLLS: An anti-toll protest planned for Gauteng's N1 highway on Thursday has been called off.

The planned protest over e-tolling on the N1 highway was declared illegal on Thursday because the group had not applied for permission.

The Freedom Front Plus planned the protest and its spokesman Anton Alberts said: "The police and metro police have declared this gathering illegal and they have said we must actually go through their channels in future.
"Our position is that this is not an illegal gathering. It's a spontaneous gathering of people who are against the tolling system, and we were just going to drive behind each other on the roads with normal cars around Johannesburg," he said.


A camel, caravaners, motorcyclists and other vehicles had converged in the rain at the Ultra City on the Ben Schoeman highway N1 South for the protest, during rush hour.

The protest was organised by the Freedom Front Plus, National Taxpayers' Union, SA Caravan Association and various motorbike clubs and had been expected to start at 7am. It was called off before 9am.

Alberts said the protest would not go ahead as planned and people would start to disperse so they could get to work.

An argument broke out between Alberts and the police over the protest.

"We have a different interpretation of the law," said Alberts.

"We are very unhappy about this because the over-regulation in this country is getting to a point where people's institutional rights, as far as we concerned, are being violated," said Alberts.


Alberts said the group had considered going ahead with the protest and risk getting arrested.

"I don't think they would have arrested us because they were quite scared about that, but we decided not to make too much trouble with the law."

He said they would attempt another protest sometime in the future.

Cabinet recently gave the nod for e-tolling on Gauteng freeways around Johannesburg and Pretoria.

With effect from April 30, 2012, motorcycles with e-tags will pay 20c/km and those without, 38c. Light motor vehicles will pay 30c and 58c respectively, and non-articulated trucks 75c and R1.45.

Articulated trucks with e-tags will pay R1.51/km and those without R2.90. The cost for motorcycles and light vehicles will be capped at R550 a month.

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