Thursday, April 26, 2012

Blatant eToll Lies by SANRAL

After reading Andrew Feinstein's book on the South African arms deal and how much money was wasted by corrupt ANC officials and ministers, I am not surprised by all the ducking and diving surrounding our e-toll fiasco. I recently obtained a copy of the Government Gazette (No 35263, 13 April 2012, Vol 562) that lists the actual toll fees. It is not a pretty sight. And it shows how badly SANRAL has been lying to the public.
I used their "toll calculator" to work out the costs of a return trip to Dennis Polack in Midrand. I stated that I don't have an e-tag and was driving in a passenger vehicle from Beyers Naude to Olifantsfontein. The quoted price for a return trip: R33.63, including a time of day discount. In spite of their nifty little map,
they lied.

Page 9 of the Gazette shows 6 columns. The column that applies to me is Column 6, a non-registered user who has no e-tag. They carefully ignore this column, but rather use column 5, which is for registered users who don't have an e-tag. These are people who have paid in advance for their use of the roads, and have foolishly handed over their banking details to SANRAL, and agree to have the money deducted from their account whenever SANRAL decides to do so, irrespective of road usage. I'm not that much of a sucker.
I've shown the actual column 6 figures above. The total without discount is actually R 106.20, quite a lot more (215%) that the R33.63 they quote. I'm entitled to a discount if I pay within 7 days of driving past the toll plaza, irrespective of whether they have sent me an invoice or not. Their revised terms and conditions (after much criticism) doesn't mention what they will do if I don't register. They clearly haven't a clue.

Update: I called their call centre and got a reference number 2001010574. The person who took the call tried to assure me that I would only pay R33.63. I told her to forward a recording of the call to her supervisors. I also gave them 30 days in which to fix their web site. Like they are going to listen.
When I saw this headline (while the court case was on, Mr Idiot Minister) I knew that someone had just banked his bribe. These guys are so blatantly kleptocratic it's sickening. The ANC are completely out of touch with their own members, let alone the public at large.

Update: The SANRAL CEO has "resigned". Presumably that will make him unavailable to answer questions when the court review begins. I wonder why ... ?

Monday, April 09, 2012

ANC's pro-Apartheid slogan

Jacob Zuma / Gwede Mantashe / Baleka Mbete / Kgalema Motlanthe / Thandi Modise / Mathews Phosa / Julius Malema© 2012 Zapiro (All rights reserved) Printed with permission.
For more Zapiro cartoons visit

I was gobsmacked to discover that the theme for the ANC's centenary celebrations is "unity in diversity". Are these people completely insensitive or just plain stupid? Do they not remember 31st May 1981, when Bruce Fordyce put the word "comrade" back into the Comrades Marathon? I guess they were sipping champagne in London and so were a little out of touch. Here in South Africa politicians like PW Botha were proclaiming "Unity in Diversity" as a justification for the racism of Apartheid. It was the theme of their 20-year celebration of the declaration of a "republic" on 31st May 1961.
Our corrupt and glorious leaders also have short memories, or none at all. So now they will sip more champagne at party-political events around the country, paid for by the same taxpayers who paid for the corrupt arms deal, and forget about the suffering and poverty of the people they supposedly liberated. Then they will go home and count their share of the bribes they were paid, and not worry about all those who died of AIDS because there was no money left to treat them, because it was all spent on arms we don't need or can't use.

Friday, April 06, 2012

The Seven Way King

I heard a recording of this famous sermon "Seven Way King" (aka That's My King) as spoken by Dr. S.M. Lockridge in Chicago in 1976. The audio is slightly edited for a better flow in the video. Now it has been turned into two inspiring videos. Watch them and marvel.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

How much sugar in "All Gold" Tomato Sauce? 36 spoons!

All Gold Tomato Sauce has been a family favourite for years. They claim there are 36 tomatoes in every bottle, but that's just advertising lies. Only recently have I asked the question: how much sugar is in the sauce?
Today I obtained the answer: 21.3g of sugar for every 100g (or was it ml?). So that means that a 700ml bottle has 150g of cane sugar, i.e. 35.5 teaspoons of sugar (4.2g). Ouch! Not so healthy after all, even though there are no preservatives. Still, it's better than "ketchup" which has all kinds of other nasties.
They have a version with artificial sweetener instead, but I think the health risks of that concoction must be pretty toxic. One has to ask why they need to put so much sugar in the product. To counteract the taste of the vinegar? The mind boggles. I mean, there's a teaspoon of sugar for every tomato in the bottle! I guess they had to "work hard to cram them all in".

Update: According to the label (which uses a very small font) there are 27g of carbs per 100g serving. That means that in a bottle there are 40g of carbs not comprising cane sugar. Divide that by 36, and you get some very small tomatoes, unlike the giant ones shown in the TV ad below. According to "One medium, whole, red, ripe, raw tomato, 2 3/5 inches in diameter and weighing 123 grams contains 5 grams of carbohydrates, on a year-round average." That means there would be 8 tomatoes in a bottle of tomato sauce, not 36. Since they actually use "reconstituted tomato paste", the ad agency claims about tomatoes have been all lies from the beginning, whichever way you look at it. I don't understand why food companies think it is OK to mislead the public like this.