People across Gauteng have been up in arms for some time now due to the introduction of e-tolls. The question however is why are we all up in arms? Is it because Gautengers do not want good public highways? Of course not! Is it because people cannot afford the tolls? Partly yes, but that would not be the main reason – there are many highway users who would be able to afford the extra cost a month by begrudgingly cutting out certain luxuries.
The main reason is that people are fed up of once again being taken advantage of. People are fed up with all the news on an almost daily basis of corruption and theft. Why must the innocent law abiding citizen once again be forced to foot the bill? Is it not enough that our taxes are frivolously spent? Just recently it was reported that R28.7 billion in irregular and unauthorised expenditure was racked up by the national and provincial governments. Gauteng alone racked up R6.7 billion (interestingly the Western Cape showed the lowest figure at R212 million). The majority of this money could have been used to pay for the highway system not to mention countless more schools, hospitals and better salaries for our dedicated civil servants. We already pay taxes, VAT, fuel levies, service costs, how much more do they want to take from us? The money is there but it is not being used like it should.
And it is not just Gauteng highway users who would be affected. How much longer will other provinces jump on the e-toll bandwagon. We have already seen a scrap about this in the Western Cape. When will KwaZulu Natal, Free State and others also try to force this down law-abiding citizens’ throats?
Additionally, who do you think will foot the increased transport costs of our food suppliers and other service providers? That’s right, Joe Public across SA. So everyone will potentially be affected.
It’s time to take a stand. It’s time for ordinary citizens to hold their government accountable. It is not time to sit back and meekly accept this! Together, we can make a difference.
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