Posted: May 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

For the record, I have never hidden my admiration for the government for its giant strides, especially in the area of infrastructure. But there are a number of issues, which I think it has failed to get right. . Nonsense! Who can afford to have a smile with this new policy? I’m referring to the new tax recently leashed and unleashed. The new Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project Electronic Toll Gate System … isn’t that just a mouth full.

I’d say “big-ups” to the mobilization against e-toll. Perhaps the only thing in this country that both black and white managed to protest against in unison and triumph. Anyway, as I recall, Gauteng has managed to have a highway network since the 60’s without having to resort to this so-called E-Tolls. Why the inefficient e-toll system anyway? Vehicle drivers are already strangled by the ever-rising petrol and tollgates in every corner. There’s a lot of anger. There are ghosts on the Gauteng roads. There’s lack of tolerance on the road, screaming, shouting, hooting and who knows what else. The recent suggestion for government’s e-tolling system was not only intolerable but also insane. Imagine after paying the toll at the gates one goes forward to meet congestion again. What then is one paying for? In fact e-tags for what? Even the actual highway upgrades are dismal failure.  In Gauteng the congestion problem hasn’t been solved.  The upgrades have made no difference, because all they did was add lanes without adding off-ramps, which resulted in congestion anyway.

It’s not surprising that the public do not believe that the e-toll project has been commissioned in good faith. Who voted for it? Where there any public debates about its establishment? When? After all this billions is paid off to the service provider, was the tolling going to go down?

Come on! Vehicles continue to ply routes on daily basis.  Perhaps if we do the math we’ll realize that e-toll would have come to almost billions per year. That is exclusive of the huge sum that was also to be raked in from adverts and other promotion activities on the road. To make it worse, the expensive and dull Gautrain trains stop at 9pm. In a way it makes it impossible for people to travel after hours. What many people don’t realise is that once this project in Gauteng was operational, it was going to be rolled out to other cities around the country as well.

I’m glad that the ghosts of the skel-e-tolls will not hunt the road users anymore. More especially because laying to rest the skel-e-toll was done in colourful societal unity.

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