Tomorrow South Africa will celebrate Freedom Day. I wrote the same thing exactly two years ago.
Little did I know [perhaps I did, but didn’t want to believe it] that celebrate would not be the appropriate word to preface Freedom Day. Yes, people will be celebrating, but they would mostly hail from that elite group that have managed to connive their way into positions of political and economic power. Any others would have to be either monumentally stupid or ignorant, or both.
Perhaps you’ve guessed by now that things have not gotten any better. No, they most certainly haven’t. Government corruption has reached alarming levels, only dwarfed by government arrogance and incompetence.
We now have democracy, the right to vote, and although under threat, the right to free speech. But tomorrow when the people of Diepsloot queue up once again to dispense and carry water from distribution points back to their shacks, these rights and privileges will be hardly comforting at the onset of Winter, perhaps hardly in their thoughts. Diepsloot is but a microcosm of service delivery problems across the country – problems that have forced the very people who voted these government goons into power, to break out into riots.
But on the eve of Freedom Day, another burning issue has got the attention of the people, like never before. E-tolling!
This vile word represents nothing more than a crass, calculated scheme by government to defraud the people of their hard-earned and ever diminishing cash supply. The opposition to the implementation of this cruel and wicked plan to relieve people of their money, has unbelievably united all the estranged races on a common social issue for the first time, in really large numbers. Only sport has ever managed that feat before. The concerted efforts of business and consumers alike, manifested itself in the form of a legal challenge to stop the implementation of this cowardly act to enrich politically connected individuals. At the time of writing, the news reports indicated that the courts will present a ruling over the weekend.
The arrogant manner in which the government tried to railroad this abberration into our already over-taxed lives, has left a bitter taste in the mouths of even their most ardent supporters. What will be the outcome of the revelations that many high-ranking politicians stood to benefit financially from this preposterous taxation scheme, remains to be seen. It is however now clear that government will be forced to postpone the implementation yet again.
More important however will be the fact that this self-serving government has been taught a grudging lesson; that power invested in them by the people is temporary. The people shall decide what is best for them, not government goons.
But will they learn? Will I be writing again next year this time, about further levels of government deprivation? Will I be allowed to write at all?