Rather than write a long winded article let me cut straight to the point, paying toll for the roads built as part of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) is nothing more than double taxation to pay for government’s mistakes and it appears that Pravin Gordhan doesn’t quite get this. Neither does the rest of the government it seems. They have even gone so far as to label peoples opposition to the toll roads as foolish saying that we have to pay for the infrastructure.
Now here is the part that they don’t get, we all know that infrastructure isn’t free! It costs money to build and most thinking people don’t mind paying for it. What the vast majority is up in arms against is having to pay for the infrastructure twice!!
A short stint on News24 and TimesLive (by no means exhaustive research) shows that the money wasted in the 2010/2011 financial year alone could have paid for the entire GFIP! I’ve attached the link below.
A quick look at these additional links shows how money gets wasted at such a phenomenal rate. Government officials are wasting more on traveling costs etc. then most of us will ever see in a life time. See the links below as an example.
The government has a few models they can pick to raise money for road infrastructure. Toll on roads is one business model to do this. By applying the user pays principle, those who use the roads pay the most for them. However, like all business models it has drawbacks as well (toll collection costs and admin among them). The fuel levy is another valid business model. The drawback of the fuel levy is that everyone pays even if they’ll never use the road in question. However the fuel levy model allows for cross subsidisation (the wheel turns, so everybody’s roads are funded by everybody eventually) and the collection is substantially easier. However the government in its wisdom is applying both! So again we are paying twice for the same thing.
Now we all know this and we’ve all complained about it. Most of us have even resolved not to buy an E-Tag or pay the toll. However government is passing legislation to allow for garnishing orders against defaulters so passive disobedience can still backfire horribly (providing they can manage the accounting J). At some point the complaining needs to turn into concrete action if we ever want to have the South Africa we all desire. I have started a cause to raise funds for legal action against the implementation of the toll roads. You can follow the link below to see the home page.
I intend to donate the funds to organisations that are preparing a legal challenge to the toll roads to assist them in winning the case. If we raise enough we can even take the matter up directly. However I need people to join and give of their time, talents or ideas. All input is welcome.
Take up the call and join the cause. We can create the South Africa we all desire, the power is in our hands.