All the posturing, the grandstanding, the exchanges of bravado and thinly-veiled threats to mothers is done. None of it had any effect. And now the time has come for the last, logical move. It’s time now to strap up, step into the ring, and pound away till only one remains standing.
In the one corner is quite the monolith. A pseudo-private company which is in reality simply a government department which has been dressed up to appear as though it isn’t a government department – most likely in order to make obfuscation of the books at the end of each year for someone’s personal gain easier and less fraught with major political danger. This organisation has some properly heavy-hitters behind it, walking it to the ring and supporting it’s every move with endless finances and even the odd hastily-crafted and singularly purposeful piece of new legislation as is required. It is the monster we’ve come to know as SANRAL of course. This bureaucratic beast is certainly not lacking muscle, although it is a bit short on the strategic side of this fight. Which is to say, it entirely lacks forethought, a state which the contender is hoping to capitalise on here.
And in the other side of our metaphorical ring is the Gauteng public. In this case, supported by the entire public body of South Africa. Although a relative minnow in terms of political clout compared to the established player, this combatant has several advantages which I believe the administration has all-but overlooked until right now. Sheer bloody-minded bulk. Despite all appearances, despite the fact that the media coverage is naturally dominated by the big money-spender on PR and advertising, and despite the unwavering support of the legislative arm of our nation’s administration, the real power of numbers lies on the side of this upstart challenger.
The future of the ludicrous plan that is e-tolling will be decided by this epic fistfight. It may take days, weeks or even months to be seen through, but the bell rings at midnight tonight and at that moment the gloves come off. This is no organised, controlled, and refereed boxing match. It’s a gloves-off street fight, with no rules and no holds barred. After all, all the avenues which the rules apply to have been fruitlessly exhausted, as the monolith refuses to abide by them, or more regularly either completely ignores them or has their backers fabricate and enforce new rules that work in its favour exclusively. But despite switching to the same diatribe that the similarly crooked TV Licence shammers spew over and over again – “Doing the right thing”, this organisation doesn’t even realise that the fight is far from over. That it is, in fact, just about to be properly joined.
The fact of the matter is, when an organisation that wouldn’t know what the “right thing” was if it kicked it in the family jewels starts beseeching the public to comply with unfairly-created and entirely unconstitutional legislation, it becomes the duty of conventional citizens to stand up and push back. When the road up to this point is littered with real examples of the “right thing” proposed via various official channels including multiple court challenges and still its only solution is to simply ride rough-shod over all of this debate and continue to do the wrong thing, then the people you are attempting to guilt into “obeying the law” are hard to convince. And why should they after all? Why should they simply roll over and accept a crock of a scheme such as this one quite clearly designed exclusively to help the elite become even more stupidly wealthy at the expense of every ordinary South African citizen due to sheer thuggery and heavy-handedness? When “the right thing to do” has clearly already been ignored, bypassed, and stomped viciously to the kerb by the very organisation now bleating about how important it is, well let’s just say the waters have been heavily muddied in the thrashing of this single-minded revenue-obsessed wild animal.
It’s time, motorists of Gauteng, to stand firm in your convictions against this monumental bully. Remember that bullies, as a rule, are also cowards. They may make the most menacing noises in the playground, and the most amount of noise generally, but as soon as one brave soul stands up against them and says “No I won’t roll over and do what you demand”, they wilt and wither in fear and will generally run far and fast with tail firmly between their yellow-bellied legs. We’ve all dealt with the schoolyard menaces before, it’s time to remember that lesson and understand that this is no different whatsoever. The onus is entirely upon you, the public, to either stand up and preserve both your dignity and your hard-earned finances by running this juvenile-minded little bully with a big big head out of town.
Know that the public of the entire country supports you. That everything and anything which it is in our power to do to assist, we will offer. Your fight is a noble and good one even if our money-obsessed government says the contrary. Ultimately, it is a fight which affects us all, each and every one. And we know it even as SANRAL tries desperately to play this down, to try to isolate you and make you feel as though you are singularly targeted and the only one still kicking against this supposedly “inevitable” progress.
Know, also, that all that is inevitable about e-tolling, is that our side will be the victors. As infrequently as it seems the tide does sway to the side of true justice, in this case the result is predestined. No democratic government in the world can simply force their citizens to accept whatever arbitrary and obviously self-enriching legislation it decides to pass. Certainly, it regularly happens that such laws are accepted via trickery – lies and illusions and webs of deceit cleverly spun to fool the real but all-too-often inactive political muscle of the general public into such a move, but not through force. Using force immediately changes the stance of the administrative powers from democratic to fascist. And no world government of today is going to openly support fascism over the genuine and clearly-communicated wishes of the citizens of said country. By tackling the resistance head-on rather than sneaking around to attack from the rear as is the favoured approach of bullies at all levels, will be SANRALs undoing. You can’t stop a freight train by standing in front of it and holding up your hands with a forceful shout of “Stop!”
This particular freight train has been allowed to build up massive momentum, and will stop only with the destruction of its target. Just say No!