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Seun wa Moutse
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E-tolls and the judicial state.

11 June 2014, 07:00

The previous announcement by Pravin Gorham, Minister of Finance that the government departments has lost and couldn’t account for R 30, 8 billion (that is thirty thousand eight hundred million rand) of wasteful, irregular, unauthorized, fruitless expenditure, was indeed bad news for taxpayers.

Even with our taxes and company taxes not being the highest in the world or even in Africa, this kind of wastage aggravates the taxpayer.

Even with everyone paying the least possible tax, we pay it with clenched teeth – it is required by law to pay it!

It looks as is the campaign to purchase e-tags, before its starts on the 3rd December 2013, has lost its momentum, and this is not much more different than a tax boycott.

There are the law abiding middle class that would diligently pay their speed and traffic fines, but still, indicate that they will not buy e-tags.

Others say they will not pay the SANRAL accounts, even if the even reach them.

The complaints against the toll fees are well known:

·         There are cheaper ways to levy tolls;

·         All people in South Africa should pay for Gauteng toll roads, as Gauteng contributes the most revenue to the fiscuss of all provinces;

·         The current system of collection of traffic and speed fines will collapse as the government is incapable of even collecting it!

Collection rates for speed fines remain low, even if most South Africans do not question is legitimacy or the issue of such fines in terms of the law.

In the case of toll fees, there are more people that are adamant - it is wrong - I will not pay!

That is the problem, as when e-toll goes life on the 3rd December 2013 it would be just as legitimate as traffic laws that authorizes speed fines and exactly the same that complies individuals on the amount of tax that they have to pay every month.

Further appeals over the next years may follow, or whether the new government will review the toll fees, is however also possible.

The chaos of millions of additional notices that road users will receive, will crack the system and fines can take years to be paid.

The act that legalizes e-tolls is not the only unpopular bill at the moment. The most recent plans to also prohibit liquor advertising are ridiculous to say the least. Also the wastage and unaccountability of tax payer’s money is despicable and sick!

But our destiny as a nation depends a lot on the protection of the judicial system and state – a country that has to be ruled in terms of laws. That includes unpopular laws, and courts that forces respect to them upon us, which can deter us.

The selective ignorance of unpopular laws would lead to an unsustainable situation where each one of us will ignore the laws of the country, which we consider as unjust and unfair.

As this will differ from one person to another, the consequence thereof is that no single law will be abided to by anyone. And there are few things that will aggravate the situation more than none abiding and ignorance to the laws and regulation, which if more come to realize this will realize that they are the only ones that abide to it!

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