As the truck drivers strike continues and starts to bite, with shortages of everything from fuel to cash at ATM machines, I wonder what opinion would be expressed by a random sampling of truck drivers as to government’s recent activities.
As one of the few much-abused taxpayers, I know how I feel when I hear not only about the R203 million budget for the upgrade of the presidential palace of Zumaville at Nkandla, but also about the enormous R5 billion bailout government will now provide for the national airline. And I am not a truck driver with basic salary grievances.
So how then must those truck drivers feel on hearing about these sums being almost literally thrown away on irrelevant (Nkandla) and unnecessary (SAA) expenses when they feel their salaries are so far below what they need.
While violence and intimidation are never the answer, the intensity of the anger is entirely understandable. Without the delivery of basic goods, and the provision of basic services, already crisis warnings are being sounded across the country, and that’s after just two weeks.
I seem to recall that the issue of the lack of basic service delivery, and not of fuel and cash in an ATM, but of the absolute basics like water and electricity, has been ongoing for a while. Surely then even a blind man would see that these obscene amounts represent almost literally the government again, still, ‘flipping the bird’ to taxpayers in addition to truck drivers, miners and the rest of the population of South Africa. Is it any wonder then that people are angry.