In 1986 I was one of 143 South Africans who refused to serve in the Apartheid army. It is ironic that it is once again time to take a stand against the arrogance and dictatorial stance of the government and say NO to eTolls and their method of collection.
I did not agree to the expensive loans used to upgrade these roads. I did not agree to the expensive "big brother" technology used to monitor which vehicles use these roads. I did not agree to the many kiosks, shopping centre stores and expensive buildings used to collect the tolls. None of them are necessary, nor are the inflated salaries of the bureaucrats who are supposedly collecting these tolls.
I did not agree to the bribes and backhanders involved in the loans and tenders used to build these monuments to government greed and stupidity. I will not, therefore, be party to paying for them. I have not purchased an e-tag, and will not throw away my rights by doing so.
SANRAL has lied to the public about the costs involved, and continues to do so. They have used the eTolls fiasco as an excuse for not maintaining the roads they are supposed to throughout the country. They and the government are siphoning off the fuel levy to line their own pockets and the pockets of their cronies, while they allow the roads infrastructure to deteriorate, which affects the poor and rural people the most. These are the people who voted for the ANC, and who die on the roads as a result of ANC mismanagement and maladministration.
I will not be party to the murder of my fellow citizens through the greed and maladministration of those whose job it is to save lives and build safer roads. Its unconscionable. Its wrong. I won't do it.
Update "Black Tuesday" Dec 3: SANRAL is still lying to the public about the costs of eTolls. Today I took a trip to a customer in Rivonia. The advertised price on the highways is R 9.00 because they only display the eTag price. Their web site calculates the cost if I don't have an eTag as R 17.41, but that assumes I have signed over my rights by opening an account with SANRAL, and will pay within 7 days. The ACTUAL cost is R52.17, assuming I pay at all. And now they wonder why I'll refuse to pay. DUH!
Update Wednesday 4 Dec: I called the SANRAL toll free "customer care" line 0800 726 725 and got a reference number 1001819381. The clueless call centre operator quoted me R 17.41 for the trip, and was shocked when I told her to look at Page 7 column 6 of the Government Gazette, instead of column 5, which is what the online eToll calculator uses. I told her to resign from SANRAL and get a real job: even working for Eskom or Tolkom would be better than robbing the public.
My question is simply this: if they actually want to collect R9 to repay the loans and cover the cost of the eTag system, where does the remaining R43.17 go? Their back pocket? Their kickback and bribery fund? Mr Alli's R3 million salary?
The government has invested R17 billion of the state pension fund in SANRAL. No wonder they are being so obstinate! Once again money trounces common sense.
Update 20th Feb 2014: The muggles at SANRAL made the big mistake of trying to send my wife an SMS demanding money. I called their call centre and told them to remove her cell phone number from their system, and not to send SMS messages or emails because they would be breaking the law if they did so. I also asked the unfortunate call centre agent what possessed her to work for a criminal organisation like SANRAL, and why didn't she get an honest job?
FWIW, SANRAL has yet to send me a single invoice. So much for their billing system. Even the corrupt President Jacob Zuma has said that it needs to be fixed. I guess he needs the money.