CASH COW: The Swartruggens Plaza tariffs are a cause for concern in the area and have Cosatu hot under the collar. Picture: Thabo Rantlha
Cosatu in the province has ridiculed the toll tariff increase from R67 to R71 at Swartruggens toll Plaza on the N4 between Zeerust and Rustenburg.
Cosatu provincial secretary Solly Phetoe told the labour federation’s members during a march on Friday they would give up protesting until the toll fee was reduced to R20.
“This increase is unacceptable and we demand it be reduced to R20. We demand that Bakwena consortium stop the R4 increase they effected on March 23 without any consultation with stakeholders,” said Phetoe.
He expressed dissatisfaction on what he termed “slow progress” on the upgrading of the road.
“In our recent meeting with Bakwena we were promised a feasibility study would be completed as soon as possible but now we are told the preliminary study will only be ready in September and the final edition available in 2013.
“We were also told the company will spend R500m on improving the road but now we are informed it will be only R150m,” said Phetoe.
“Cosatu wants to make it categorically clear that workers of this country cannot wait until September or 2013 for the study to be completed while the toll fee is increasing.
“We can’t be bound by any memorandum of understanding entered into with the municipality of Kgetleng if we are not consulted,” said Phetoe.
A statement from Bakwena concessionaire said the upgrading of 22km of the N4 national road between Swartruggens and Moedwil would cost R165m and the total cost on the N4 from Zeerust through Swartruggens to Rustenburg was estimated at R586m.
The contractors are expected to use labour from the local community in the Swartruggens area.
“The Swartruggens toll plaza serves 185km between the Botswana border at Lobatse and Rustenburg. The upgrades will not result in increased toll tariffs as the tariffs are set by the government,” read the statement.