of non-payment - that's a direct result of the black resistance groups during
the apartheid era (or so the ANC claims). Non-payment of essential services
has now become the biggest problem facing the ANC-led government today.
And of course, this just get worse and worse by the day!
According to newspaper reports Gauteng residents owe 11.2 Billion Rand on their municipal bills. Considering that this is part of a total of 22.2 Billion Rand municipal debt country wide. In three years it jumped by 7 Billion where in 1998 Gauteng's debt was 4.5 Billion.
The ANC (current government) promised certain services for free during their election campaigns. This obviously was specifically targeted at the homeless. The homeless however are also without jobs. The jobless are becoming more due to a suffering economy and with another interest rate hike looming next month, things are becoming even worse. The councils can't collect from people who don't have money. The people who have money won't pay because the people without money are still enjoying the basic services. The councils can't collect from people who have money because all these people (ones with & without) are stopping them from disconnecting any services.
In the meantime municipalities in the greater Gauteng are pushing up their rates and taxes as well as implementing a general increase on basic services. This obviously will only be enforced in the traditionally white suburbs. In these suburbs they have better control (this is the council) and can enforce payment when and where necessary. I had my electricity cut about three weeks ago. This was due to a short-payment of R140.00. On a total bill of R800.00 per month this is not even 15%. And all this happened two days before a statement was received. Added to this is the bad delivery of statements or (in my case) a whole two months of non-delivery of statements.
This all comes back to the 20-80 principal . The "oppressors" must pay. The only problem here of course is the amount of black, indian and coloured people living in the same neighbourhoods. I won't be too surprised if someone told me that there are thousands of white families living in Soweto (I know of a few only).
And the debt keeps on increasing. Tshwane (Pretoria) reports an increase of R10-million a month in bad debt. Residents there owe R711-million with businesses owing a further R770-million.
In spite of increased food prices, fuel prices, commodity prices, luxury goods prices, cost of living,...government is still finding new ways to collect money from an already impoverished nation. The latest bright idea is tollgates. More tollgates mean more money for nothing. The original idea behind tollgates were to provide a safe and shorter alternative to existing national roads on a pay for use basis. The better the road and shorter the distance, the more you pay. Sounds fair. Starts sounding totally ridiculous when a trip to Durban (approx. 600km from Jo'burg) costs you R600.00 just on toll fees! The old roads are not maintained properly, forcing travellers to use the tollroads in order for government to keep their train going.
Seems that in this year alone another five tollgates will go / has gone up pretty soon. A new tollgate to Pietersburg (sorry, Polokwane) is already operational. The big problem here is that this is an established highway (granted that it is a tollroad) with the relevant tollgates in place years ago. What justification is being used by government to put extra toll on this road? Obviously they are not capable to maintain this road with the money collected from existing tollgates because some bastards are driving very expensive cars on our expense.
The worst is the planned tollgate on the Ben Schoeman (thank goodness they haven't changed that name yet) highway between Jo'burg and Pretoria. This is a sixty kilometer three lane stretch of highway. City to city direct. The proposed tollfees will be a ridiculous R25.00 one way. Staying in Pretoria and working in Jo'burg - budget about a grand a month!
The S.A. National Roads Agency plans to add an expressway to certain national highways of which the Ben Schoeman is one. The idea here is to add an additional lane (to make it four lanes), then block off the two inside lanes and declare them the "expressway". And to use this will cost you.
Maybe they need funds for this so-called supertrain they're planning between the two cities. Not only that, they probably need a lot more support for their idea, and to be quite frank..., it's the "kakkest" idea they've ever come up with! The money should be spent on the people, and not on the "bosses" where most of our money end up anyway.