Thanks – for giv­ing life

WEST­ERN CAPE GOVT: POIGNANT ADS SHOW VI­TAL ROLE OF PARAMEDICS But Onion for dis­hon­est, threat­en­ing San­ral on e-tolls.

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - NEWS - Bren­dan Seery

It’s an in­di­ca­tion of what a sick so­ci­ety we have be­come that, when emer­gency med­i­cal teams ven­ture into some ar­eas, their lives are in dan­ger. Not only do some in these com­mu­ni­ties not ap­pre­ci­ate the con­tri­bu­tion these skilled, devoted peo­ple make to their lives, they see them as tar­gets.

Many do not ap­pre­ci­ate what these peo­ple do for us … un­til you need them.

That’s the theme be­hind yet an­other strik­ing com­mu­nity ser­vice ad cam­paign com­mis­sioned by the West­ern Cape gov­ern­ment. Pre­vi­ously, the ad­min­is­tra­tion has high­lighted so­cial problems like bul­ly­ing, drunken driv­ing and even tex­ting while walk­ing.

The cam­paign con­sists of two videos: one, “The Ode”, fo­cuses on a po­etic ren­der­ing of how im­por­tant emer­gency med­i­cal per­son­nel are in the prov­ince. The lines of the poem are read out by peo­ple who have been helped by the EMS. These sur­vivors – for they would not be here were it not for the paramedics – range from car crash vic­tims, to a woman with preg­nancy com­pli­ca­tions.

“The Ode” is shot with real peo­ple telling real sto­ries in a gritty, re­al­ity style.

The sec­ond, “The Re­union”, fea­tures stab­bing sur­vivor Ashraf Solomons from Mitchell’s Plain, de­scrib­ing how, 11 years ago, he was stabbed in the neck and left for dead. He can barely hold back the tears when he says if it wasn’t for the paramedics (he can’t re­mem­ber much af­ter the blade went into his neck and tried to stop the bleed­ing with his shirt be­fore pass­ing out), his young daugh­ter wouldn’t be alive to­day.

That brings it home … as does Ashraf’s visit to the EMS sta­tion to say thank you – with his daugh­ter along­side him – for his life. It’s real and it makes you think – es­pe­cially this time of the year when paramedics are over­worked.

Orchids, yet again, to the West­ern Cape gov­ern­ment and ad agency FCB Cape Town.

The e-toll de­ba­cle has been char­ac­terised – from day one, five years ago ex­actly – by mis­di­rec­tion, dis­trac­tion and down­right lies in its mar­ket­ing.

In the begin­ning, it was SA Na­tional Roads Agency Lim­ited chief Nazir Alli who lead the bull­shit blitz as he and his ANC com­rades tried to jus­tify fund­ing the Gaut­eng Free­way Im­prove­ment Pro­ject through tolling and not through a much sim­pler fuel levy. The ar­ro­gance and dis­hon­esty were some of the main rea­sons Gaut­engers have boy­cotted the sys­tem in droves, with cur­rent es­ti­mates that only one in four ve­hi­cles has an e-tag.

Five years on, the con­tract for toll col­lec­tion is up for re­newal (hasn’t hap­pened so far, and prob­a­bly won’t un­til the ANC has safely se­cured the polls next year). So, sud­denly Elec­tronic Toll Col­lec­tion (ETC) – the com­pany paid bil­lions to bring in the fees (money which goes off­shore, in case any­one has for­got­ten) is lob­by­ing for good burghers to pay e-tolls. And it is us­ing the same dis­hon­esty which char­ac­terised the for­mer San­ral regime. (I say for­mer be­cause, these days, San­ral is more open about road fund­ing.)

ETC has been say­ing if peo­ple do not pay e-tolls, by 2037, it will take six hours to get from Joburg to Pre­to­ria. The dis­hon­est sleight of hand there is the stance that e-tolls are the only way of fund­ing roads. They are not.

Or­gan­i­sa­tion Un­do­ing Tax Abuse (Outa) has cal­cu­lated if a fuel levy of 10c per litre had been put in place when the roads were built, the pro­ject would have been paid off by the end of this year.

So, ETC, mo­torists won’t be fooled by your dis­trac­tions. We never re­fused to pay for roads; we just re­fused to ac­cept that e-tolls – an in­ef­fi­cient scheme open to back­han­ders – was the way.

Also, ETC, high­way users don’t like be­ing threat­ened. If you don’t be­lieve that, count up the num­ber who have bought e-tags.

Mis­lead­ing advertising will al­ways get an Onion – so will you. No point telling you you shouldn’t do this be­cause it dam­ages your brand im­age … it is so poor you surely can’t dam­age it any more.

ETC, high­way users don’t like be­ing threat­ened

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.