E-tolls and human rights - a time to speak out
It is a day that we all hold dear and close to our hearts as we reflect on the atrocities and wrongs of a system that was so evil and when the rights of many were rejected, ignored and vilified.
Today, the South African society begins to find itself questioning many developments and raising concerns about ill conceived policies and an abusive of power by organs of the state. The state’s role is to remain closely aligned to the needs of the people. Moreover, the state must be authentic when it seeks the input and the need for co-operative and meaningful engagement with the people, as it seeks to implement policies intended to serve society with the best outcomes possible.
The e-tolling fiasco is one such policy, amongst others, that has gripped the attention of the Gauteng people. It has united a vast majority of citizens across all sectors of society, raising the ire and angry reaction from hundreds of thousands.
“We believe it is time to give people the space & time to interact with prominent activists and thought leaders on this matter, on Human Rights Day, so that matters pertaining to the issues can be discussed and civil courage stimulated” says John Clarke, the spokesperson of the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA). “For this reason, we invite the public to attend an interactive session at the Regina Mundi Catholic Church in Mkize Street – Soweto, a significant and historically symbolic venue of Human Rights in South Africa. We will also be handing over a memorandum to the Ministers office at this event.”
The Bikers Against Tolls (BAT) and Cars Against Tolls (CAT) civil action groups will be hosting a protest ride to highlight the human rights issues related to e-tolling. This event will start (08h00) and end at the Crusaders Club near Wemmer Pan.
Program of events will be as follows on Friday 21st March 2014 at the Regina Mundi Catholic Church in Mkize Street – Soweto.
• 10h00 - 11h00: A Media Conference (closed to invited media)
• 11h00 – 12h15: Public Interactive Session with Key Note Speaker, Professor Somadoda Fikeni. Other short highlight speakers will be Wayne Duvenage, Zwelinzima Vavi, Mark Heywood and others.
• 12h15 – Handover of Memorandum to the office of the Minister of Transport.
• 13h00 – Bungi Jump for Human Rights and festivities at the Orlando Towers.