Almost 3 years ago, Wonkie published an article providing e-toll protest options for the public to act against the controversial gantry system being implemented in Gauteng. As predicted then, the option to “Suck it up, pay the high tolls fees, and continue whingeing about it for the next decade” appears to be the preferred choice… or not?
Since the South African public seem determined to show the ANC just how far they are able to bend over, Wonkie thought it best to provide a positive spin on the e-tolls to help angry citizens sleep better at night. Below are 5 positive aspects of the e-tolls you might not have considered:
1. National unity
As frequently demonstrated by events like sporting World Cups, having a common adversary helps people of all ilk rally together. If 5 years ago, Wonkie suggested that the DA, Cosatu, Julius Malema, and a huge chunk of the South African public would all band together in protest against the ANC, you might have choked on your soya boerewors.
Perhaps, the ANC are experimenting with a more in-house strategy to build national unity with the e-tolls. Who knows? After several years of planning to make a plan, the National Planning Commission must have come up with something out-of-the-box that government could actually implement successfully.
Of course, with sporting events, that warm patriotic feeling is usually replaced with the warm feeling of pee after the event is all over. Wonkie wonders whether the constant reminder every time people pass under an e-toll gantry will help make that feeling of unity last for much longer.
2. Self discovery
After all the anger, and cursing of Sanral and the ANC behind the water-cooler, most Gautengers should take a brief moment to acknowledge something about themselves. In fact, more important than developing a sense of national unity, the e-tolls are an important tool for personal development.
If you are one of the many who ranted furiously about the e-tolls, but could not be bothered with any real act of civil disobedience (no, that witty tweet you sent does not count), then you should probably take this opportunity to reflect on your mettle. Even what you do now with respect to e-tolls speaks to your courage and conviction on the issue.
Are you a passive-aggressive individual who will let it all slide in resignation after all that fury, or will you raise your middle finger to the e-tolls and be counted?
3. Hope in 2014 elections
The e-tolls will contribute positively to many stakeholders in the 2014 South African elections. The DA, and FF+ can simply change their last ineffective campaign strategy from “Don’t vote for Zuma” to an updated, ineffective “Don’t vote for e-tolls” one. They will be happy because they think they’ll save effort (once more) by not having to develop and present a proper strategy for improving South Africa. One day, they will realise that the masses need more than some temporary carrot to convince them to change their allegiance.
The ANC, on the other hand, are probably punting on the fact that the poor, unemployed masses couldn’t care less about e-tolls. They will be thrilled that the DA will be neutered with their focus on a red herring. An investigation of the money trail around e-tolls might reveal some healthy “pension fund contributions” to senior ANC friends and members – of course, there is no risk of such an investigation because of the Protection of Corruption Bill (oops, Wonkie meant the Protection of Information Bill).
Cosatu will also need to reevaluate their alliance with the ANC, or accept that its tail should be firmly stitched between its legs. The unions, despite some fiery rhetoric, have proven all but useless in stopping the ANC agenda. Cosatu should grow with some personal development lessons from this too.
Of course, the final stakeholder is the South African public – at least there will be a bit more optimism that things will change after the next election. The ANC will loosen their grip on power with more defections from disgruntled non-whites, even more so now because of the e-tolls.
4. Better roads
Leaving aside that there are definitely more efficient and cost-effective means of collecting funds to maintain the roads, the e-tolling system has delivered a better, upgraded road network. Believe it or not, some tiny percentage of funds collected from the e-tolls will remain in South Africa and out of dodgy pockets, to pay towards maintaining the roads.
No doubt, within the next year or two, when said dodgy pockets are hungry once more, the e-toll fees will increase. At that point, more comparisons will be made with how expensive toll roads are in Norway and Germany, completely ignoring minor facts like the excellent public transport system and significantly higher GDP per capita in those countries.
Still, the roads are better now than they were before. Whoopee.
5. Greener South AfricaFinally, South Africa will be greener because of Sanral. (Wonkie can just see some SA government minister getting all excited and taking notes for the next COP climate change meeting). The e-tolls are unlikely to get people to stop using the roads or pool together to use public transport, because quite frankly, what public transport? Dipuo Peters hasn’t delivered anything much but pain.
Just think though, every time you see Sanral, Ismail Vadi, e-tolls, or Dipuo Peters gush on about how valuable the e-tolls are, and how South Africans should be grateful to the ANC for saving them, doesn’t it just want to make you turn off your televisions? How green is that.
If the thought of an extra few hundred Rands going out each month with the arrival of the Gauteng e-tolls and the increase in petrol price in December is dampening your Christmas spirit, then perhaps now is a good time to adopt an optimistic outlook and visit this lottery website. One ticket is all it could take for you not to have to worry about e-tolls or South Africa ever again.
Taking chances on the lottery of course means you have to wait a while for results. If immediate gratification is more your style, and you believe more in luck than in probability, then why not try your hand at some of the top-rated online casino South Africa options now, or if you’d prefer, visit Wonkie’s own detailed South African online casino directory or this online casino news website instead. Wonkie readers based in India that are wondering what all the fuss about public corruption is, can visit the best online casino in India instead.
In all seriousness, don’t let e-tolls get you down – make sure your voice, or finger, of protest is heard on more than just the internet – give them a sign!
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