A story of mordernism going horribly wrong

2017-05-18 06:00
one the runlunga adam

one the runlunga adam

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Time was when the vicissitudes of life took a lad from one extreme to another extreme.Say what!

It meant walking from your house to visit a relative in another neighbourhood, or a stroll to meet your significant other.

Times were different then, of course, as safety was utmost in mind, which meant that one was prepared to meet any evil intent head on.

The endless walk to school was but one side of the plane of the life we lived.

Weekends were the time of the great walks in the search for the meaning of life, whether to a shopping mall or the sports ground, to kick ball with mates.

I reminisce, and that era seems eons away now, if you consider current events, when even sending an innocent child to the corner shop has parents sitting on edge.

In the mid 90’s we were introduced to a somewhat new mode of ambulation, nay, commuting: the ubiquitous “amaphela”; which seemed to take the mickey out of those long and punishing walks.

This new development was met with a great deal of excitement right around communities, if only because commuting in them cost a pittance.

We might not have been declared a ‘junk status’ country yet, but the standard of living was not too high either.

Even then, there was a semblance of dignity about the whole exercise of Black people living under harsh circumstances.

But having the means of transport that took you around neighbourhoods, meant a great deal of liberation.

Now, one needed to hitch a ride not only when one wanted to go to town, so to speak. Good times!

The Toyota Cressida sedan taxis were held in high regard, more so because back then, the drivers behind the wheels were people of a mature age. No 16-year-old would be caught dead behind the wheel of a public old banger or jalopy!

Fast forward to the present day Avanza, supposedly an upgrade from the run-down Cressida, which have become, in local speak at least, coffins-on-wheels. Justifiably so. But it seems life has been hell on earth for the commuters who find their bums on the Avanza vehicles.

That the Japanese wanted a stake in the small family car market, and so designed the Avanza, is now the stuff of legend. The local taxi industry players, smelling a quick quid, permanently redesigned these vehicles as a form of commuter ambulation. However, the Avanza serves a good purpose in the greater scheme of things. Thing is, the real owners are not even the ones causing trouble in our kasis. Needless to say, they wise say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The operators possess a general lack of respect. Granted, these cars offer the proverbial land of milk and honey to the young men from rom the Eastern Cape who come to these shores looking for better prospects, but their behaviour is disdainful.

I have observed with dismay how they address people old enough to be their grandparents. Pity then, because it seems the Avanza is the preferred mode of transport for the majority of our people.

Recently, they(operators) have received a lot of bad press for their nocturnal shenanigans. This is tragic.

Look no further than the pages of this newspaper for stories of how these drivers get arrested for their acts of criminality.

This particular driver was accused of a string of robberies in the Vlei and Ekuphumleni areas.

According to reports, young girls and women seem to have been the victims of choice for these criminals we have come to entrust with a safe ride to our respective homes.

Eight in the evening has become associated with rape, robbery and mayhem for female commuters. To think these rides cost only R6 to any destination, life, indeed, has become cheap. The authorities must pay more than just lip service to the deeds of these unlicensed and evil drivers who prey on the weak in society.

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