Gauteng E-tolls – E-xciting or E-nsane

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Gauteng E-tolls - E-xciting or E-nsane“E-tolls should not be seen as a pest, but rather appreciated for the world-class infrastructure they made possible.”

Since hearing Gwede Mantashe, the Secretary General of the ANC say these words, Gautengers have been even angrier about e-tolls than they were when the concept was first emerged approximately four years ago. With more cases coming to light of people being billed and debited for e-tolls, despite the fact that they haven’t registered or even bought devices, the whole e-toll saga is going southbound fast.

And what does the President have to say about it? “We can’t think like Africans in Africa generally. We’re in Johannesburg, this is Johannesburg. It’s not some national road in Malawi.” Classy Jacob, real classy. Thanks for taking democracy back about 20 years.

So people are pissed, and the government is telling them to ‘appreciate’ the infrastructure and ‘not act like Africans’, but what is actually being done? It seems that Cosatu is the only semi-political body doing anything about the chaos, and was reported as planning go-slows starting today. The people have an opportunity to protest too, by simply not buying the e-tags (though this doesn’t guarantee you won’t be billed).

But in the midst of this insanity, what is the ‘toll’ being taken by consumers? Think about it – Sanral is paying about R25 million a month in payment of its debts to operator ETC. We know that the money is not coming from the sale of Nkandla, or from the big bonuses government is refusing to take. So where is it coming from? Duh, your pocket!

The funniest part of this stupid saga is that if the system is not implemented soon, it will be up for tender in 2018. That means more costs for consumers and higher taxes.

Though we’re doing the best we can to protest both actively and passively, the government is gung-ho about getting the system going. What will happen next can’t even be predicted because honestly, where the hell do we go from here?

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