I pay my taxes, I follow the law, I help where I can, I am a proud South African but, alas, I am what this government refers to as a “disobedient citizen”.
I am referred to as such because of my refusal to register for e-Tolls.
This refusal has nothing to do any urge to flout the laws of the land, mind you, and everything to do with a refusal to further condone the cupped-hand mania that engulfs the state.
In fact I have no problem, whatsoever, paying a toll fee for roads. What I do have a problem with are the following:
Over the last few years corruption at government level has reached absolutely epidemic proportions. I have first-hand knowledge of this having directly worked with the public sector.
There is a culture of non-performance and a self-righteousness that beggars belief.
There is a sense of entitlement to national assets, including the use of tax-payer’s money, for all manner of things EXCEPT for its intended purpose.
There is also a culture of fear as this government is the biggest employer in the nation. “Go with the flow and vote ANC or another political party will take over and you will lose your job” being the mantra – and also explains why, literally, five people are employed to do the job of one competent soul.
Now I expect some level of ineptitude at public sector level. Goodness knows it’s not limited to South Africa but, here, getting away with it is a given.
Time and time again those convicted of fraud or abuse of power find their way back into the fold and this makes a total mockery of those election posters promising to stamp it out.
This very same government has presided over the collapse of supporting infrastructure. Go and drive around the suburbs of Johannesburg and see what state the roads are in.
Rubbish and sewerage are an issue, potholes are an issue, hundreds of broken traffic lights are an issue – yet, still, I am expected to keep watching my money, and your money, and every other tax-paying citizen’s money go up in piles of smoke that cannot be traced?
R30 billion in the last year alone!
I have watched the armed forces decline into something akin to a poorly equipped band of misfits; I have watched the police force stumble under the leadership of one incompetent idiot to another – all appointed by this government. I have seen, first hand, the chaos at public hospitals and have watched in amazement as lavish squandering, incredible corruption and mind-boggling cronyism have gone unpunished.
And YOU want to call ME a disobedient citizen?
I will gladly pay for e-Tolls. Hell, sign me up today . . . BUT FIRST I want you, the national government appointed by the people to look after our best interests, to prove to me that you can get your house in order.
I want to see that you take responsibility for disobedience in your own ranks, regardless of who it is, and dish out appropriate punishment to transgressors.
I want to see that you can manage the country’s finances with care, offering clear proof by way of quarterly reports, of where the money goes, and who authorised what spending.
Like a child who squanders his or her pocket money and then keeps pulling an Oliver Twist’esque manoeuvre begging for more – your time, your chances and my patience have run their course.
I will pay . . . when you learn to lead by example.
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