E-tolls dilemma for ruling party
There’s an old and accurate saying that capitalism is the exploitation of man by man … and that communism is the exact opposite. That aphorism could have been brought to the attention this week of Minister of Transport Blade Nzimande, a member of the SA Communist Party. In defending the continuation of e-tolls, Nzimande was singing a very capitalist tune, given that the whole project of toll collection will directly benefit a capitalist organisation from Europe.
The people of Gauteng seem to be less important – as they have been from the beginning of the e-toll fiasco – than keeping those Europeans happy, as well as placating the “international agencies” which threaten to classify South Africa as a bad risk because the SA National Roads Agency can’t pay back what it owes on the toll roads due to massive civic refusal.
The issue is the hot button for next year’s election and the irony is that the ANC’s Gauteng organisation and their mortal political enemy, the Democratic Allianhce, are both saying the same thing: e-tolls must go. The ANC government faces a dilemma. If it scraps the system, it will avoid defeat at the polls. But, in doing that, it will have conceded that large-scale public protest and defiance do work.