Toll fees will bleed us to death

2011-02-19 10:51

I couldn’t help but remember a Jojo cartoon that appeared in The World newspaper some years ago.

The cartoon was about two neighbours chatting over a fence and lamenting the hard times.

The one neighbour said:
“Times are so hard that my family and I are battling to keep the jackal from the door!”

The other replied:
“You are lucky the jackal comes to your door. If it came to my house, we would catch it for supper!”

I recalled this cartoon as I was digesting the news that motorists are going to be paying 66 cents a kilometre to use Gauteng national roads. The tolling of these roads is just one of many poor decisions that our majority administration has taken in recent times.

I also remembered a recent budget speech by Minister Trevor Manuel two years ago where he implored the state to be mindful of the impact of its policies on ­“MaMkhize who sells fat cakes for a living”, and on jobs and various facets of life.

The toll fee decision appears to have been taken without sufficient consideration of the impact on consumers.

Private and public transport costs will make going to work and school very expensive, so will the cost of delivering bread and maize meal. It is mind-boggling that in a country where a great number of people live below the poverty line, a democratically elected administration has no qualms in taxing ­citizens out of existence.

In June, when this toll comes into effect, many workers will be in the streets demanding 20% salary adjustments, and justifiably so.

What I am battling to understand is where are the communists, the socialists and unions in the tripartite alliance? Could it be that the consciences of black politicians and administrators has been dulled by the din of coining it?

How deep are the toll fees going to cut without bleeding us all to ­financial death?

» Diale is a financial planner. He can be ­contacted on 078 775 0802

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