Durban – The Congress of South African Trade Unions are urging motorists to make alternate travel routes as they will be holding a picket at the N3 Mariannhill Toll Plaza from 10am.
Cosatu’s Edwin Mkhize said members will gather at the Curries Fountain Stadium from 8am and thereafter proceed to the toll plaza from 9:30am.
He said the picket is to publicly condemn the petrol price and VAT increases as well as highlight other matters affecting residents.
“We strongly oppose and condemn government’s VAT and fuel hikes. These above inflation tax hikes are suffocating workers who are already battling to cope with; an 36% unemployment rate, thousands of workers retrenched across economic sectors, nine million unemployed and rising food, transport, water and electricity inflation,” he said.
Further demands by Cosatu:
- Reduce the fuel levy and other taxes
- Taxing the wealthy to subsidize the poor
- Clean up the corruption
- Wasteful expenditure
- Looting of the RAF by lawyers
- Invest and expand public transport
- Ensure the safety of public transport (trains, taxis and buses)
- Ensure the reliability of Metro Rail
- Reinstate a dedicated full time rail way police under SAPS
- Deal with criminal syndicates vandalising Metro Rail
- Deal with lawlessness in the taxi industry
- Ensure the taxi industry is properly subsidised and supported by the state
- Invest in producing electric buses, cars and bikes locally to reduce our dependence upon a volatile and expensive oil industry
- Explore the nationalisation of SASOL to provide cheaper petrol for South Africans.
On VAT, Cosatu demands that government:
- Reverse the VAT hike or announce when it will come to an end
- Implement the recommended additional VAT exempt products by the VAT Panel
- Exempt locally produced poultry from VAT as a key food for the poor
- Exempt sanitary pads and school uniforms from VAT
- Purchase locally produced sanitary pads and school uniforms for the poor and distribute them at government schools, clinics and hospitals
- Introduce a progressive sliding scale for VAT for water and electricity for the poor
- Introduce luxury VAT rates for luxury goods and imports
- Overhaul the tax regime to make it more progressive,
- Less burdensome to the poor and to ensure the rich pay their fair share