It seems as if Sanral was hit with a devastating blow this week as hundreds of thousands of Gauteng residents are simply refusing to pay their e-toll bills.
Working in Sanral’s billing department must be one of the most stressful jobs in the planet, because the amount of overdue fees currently stands at half a billion.
It’s civil disobedience on a massive scale and in my opinion a sure sign that the system will inevitably fail.
It just goes to show how shortsighted Sanral actually was while planning this whole e-toll malarkey. It appears as if the people in charge only saw the dollars signs and completely ignored the devastating impact it would have on SA.
One of my biggest problems with e-tolling has always been the lack of a viable alternative. There’s no alternative to the N1 and one simply can’t trust public transport in SA.
I use my car every day, simply because I know it’s going to be there waiting where I left it the previous night. That is, if some thief hasn’t stolen it in the meantime, but that’s a subject for another day…
It also leaves exactly when I want to and it takes me within 20 metres of the office’s front door. When it comes to convenience, you can’t beat car ownership.
I refuse to use public transport, because it just isn’t reliable enough.
This much is clear from the actions of the MyCiTi Cape Town bus service employees earlier this week. They embarked on an unprotected strike, leaving hundreds of commuters stranded. It really grinds my gears when I see images of these poor souls standing at a bus stop in the hope that a bus might come along at some point. What are they supposed to do?
It’s no different up here in Jozi. On Friday morning the Gautrain bus drivers also embarked on an unprotected strike. The operating company received no warning whatsoever and the result was thousand of people waiting at the side of the road for a bus that never came. These people were probably late for work, which probably cost the SA economy a few million.
E-tolling wouldn’t be such a bitter pill to swallow if there were alternatives to using the N1, but the fact is that it’s still the easiest way to travel between Pretoria and Jozi. And people won’t use the available public transport until it’s as reliable as using your own car.
Perhaps the government should have thought of these issues before implementing e-tolling. Maybe then they wouldn’t be sitting on a pile of unpaid bills.