Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s e-toll review panel has missed the point when it said there was “no justification for civil disobedience” and that “boycotting e-tolls sets unsustainable precedents and threatens democracy and social cohesion”.
This is according to the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa), which took exception to certain parts of the review panel’s report, while praising the overall approach the panel took.
Outa said it was perturbed at how the panel could conclude there was no justification for civil disobedience, while also finding a number of issues with e-tolling.
Among the problems highlighted by the panel were that:
- E-tolling places an unfair socio-economic burden on poorer working class citizens and it perpetuates apartheid spatial inequalities.
- The system is administratively cumbersome.
- Lacks public support due to a dismal public engagement process and other issues.
“In fact, government’s illegitimate actions are perhaps in general, and certainly in this situation, the greatest threat to democracy and the panel has ignored this point,” Outa said.
“Conscientious civil disobedience is morally justified and an absolutely necessary when the government ignores the will of the people on an unjust and irrational policy.”