“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
Parliament’s transport portfolio committee will be briefed on Gauteng’s e-tolls today, Tuesday, 18/02/2014. According to SANRAL’s Spokesman Vusi Mona, “We look forward to the opportunity to explain what went wrong with e-tolling, but also what went right. We will be initiating a campaign to remind vehicle owners of their legal responsibilities…”
On the 09 October 2013, the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance’s (OUTA) challenge against the E-tolls. The reasons given for this judgement (in short) was that it was too late to stop it. However, the reason it was too late to stop was because of all the underhanded, surreptitious tactics taken by SANRAL and government to bully us and continue with the development of the E-tolls, despite our objections. This judgement is the equivalent of the court telling a man in the process of committing rape, that he might as well continue as he is almost done. So I ask you, have you not had enough?
We pay taxes, ladies and gentleman. We pay millions of rands every month, but what do we get for our money? What do we South African’s get for our taxes?
We get a corrupt police force. 2012/2013 crime statistics show that there are approximately 13 000 criminal cases pending against police officers in Gauteng.
Police that are raping our mothers, wives and daughters when they go to them looking for help. Police that are assaulting and robbing the innocent. So I ask you again, have you not have enough?
We live in a province where Blue Light brigades put all our lives in danger on the same roads that they are charging us to use every day, just because they are late for lunch. What about Thomas Ferraira who has suffered permanent brain damage at the hands of this Government because they believe they can do anything they like with no consequence. What about the taxis who are not bound by the same rules of the road as you and I? Is that what our taxes are paying for?
Or, are my taxes paying for me to have the feeling of constant panic in my own home, waiting for someone to break into my house and attack me and my family? Or are my taxes paying for the education department to not deliver text books to schools and to take 8 days before they act against teachers trying to molest our children. Is that what we are paying for?
Or what about the knock on effects. Because this government cannot get a handle on poverty or crime, I must then pay more in insurance premiums because the whole of Gauteng is a high risk area. Is my taxes going to keeping faulty, solar geysers on the roofs of the less fortunate because of an irregular awarded tender? And then there is the escalating petrol price. We should not be making life changing decisions at the petrol pumps. It should not be a matter of choosing between being able to buy bread, or being able to get to work. And how are the poor benefiting from my taxes when I have seen no decrease in the number of people living in poverty? Where people have to resort to violent protests over the most basic of human needs. Water. So I ask you, where is our money going?
Into the pockets of corrupt officials, that is where. We are paying for a small group of elite people to drive fancy cars, to live in mansions and to go on extravagant
holidays (or visit their girlfriends in Swiss jails). And now we must pay them more through the E-Tolls. So I ask you again, have you not had enough? Well, I have, and I say no more. No more will government look at me, a normal middle class man as their personal ATM.
Do not let SANRAL deceive you by saying that many people are buying e-tags. This is a sales/marketing trick called ‘Keeping up with the Jones’. They want you to think that everyone else is complying, therefore you should to. Do not be fooled. And do not be bullied by the aggressive SMS’s demanding payment. They will tell you that as a law abiding citizen, you must buy an E-tag or face legal action. That this is the law. But remember, just because it is the law, it does not make it right. There was once a law in this country that said certain races must only live in certain areas. A law that said that black people must always carry a Dompas with them. A law that prevented the majority of this popular from getting equal education. Unjust laws that our people stood up against and defeated.
“The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing”- J.L Bell
We need to stand up again and tell these people that we will not go silently into that good night. We will not be the savings account of the rich and corrupt. Our voices will be heard. We have already spoken. We have said no, but they did not listen. We have marched, and they did not care. The only way they will care is if we strike them in the place that is the most important to them. Their pockets. No to E-tolls. No to E-tags.
“When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right.” - Victor Hugo