There are two radio adverts that I listen to every day while on my way to work, and I chuckle every time I hear them. And that’s not because they are amusing; but because they are so damn presumptuous about what people want or need.
Both are adverts for government agencies; one for the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) and the other for the public broadcaster, The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). Both exhort the public to shell out money for something that no sane person would ordinarily pay for. Both these agencies invite you to become an unwilling partner in what can only be described as a monstrous fraud scheme with the sole aim of aiding and abetting gross incompetence in the case of the SABC and legalised extortion in the case of SANRAL.
While the SABC tries to persuade you to pay your TV licence because apparently it’s the right thing to do, SANRAL on the other hand tries to convince you that the new roads they’re building is going to be so great for everyone (including the environment), you should gladly pay the exorbitant toll fees they’re proposing.
The SABC offers all of 3 television channels spewing forth some of the most pathetic rubbish, masquerading as entertainment, and probably just one decent radio channel. To top that they have some of the most incompetent people in management, and are constantly plagued by management upheavals, in-fighting and gross mismanagement of public funds. While SANRAL does offer some decent roads, the toll fees they’re asking of around 50 cents a kilometer is pure extortion. Why are we paying taxes and ridiculously inflated surcharges on petrol prices anyway? Shouldn’t that pay for the construction of roads? Or is that revenue just to keep our fat-arsed politicians forever pigging at the trough?
I wonder how the ad agencies who came up with those advertising gems approached their task? Being asked to come up with adverts for the SABC and SANRAL must surely be tantamount to getting a contract from a funeral parlour to dolly up their macabre service offerings which can only go along the lines of hurry up and die, our services are tuned for your demise, or our services are to die for.
Surely, the SABC and SANRAL don’t seriously think that we are all going to get a warm happy feeling after listening to those pathetic adverts and are going to pay with a smile? But then again, where government is involved, unadulterated stupidity is a given.