Monthly Archives: November, 2013

A layman’s (my) view on e-tolls

November 28th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized 1 thought on “A layman’s (my) view on e-tolls”

I really, really have no expert opinion on this topic. However, as a citizen and road user, I have some thoughts.


1. SANRAL and the team are sneaky Russians for not getting the backing of road users from the very beginning. If they went about it better – i.e. not placing a tiny little advert in a newspaper so very few people could see it, but rather being open and honest about it – then we could have had a peaceful move towards this.

2. I don’t approve of public defiance. It generates the wrong societal attitude. The number of strikes in all sectors (with fatal consequences for some) are staggering, and they keep on coming. For so-called experts to tell road users to not buy e-tags is, yes, getting the crowd to stand together, but in a very ineffective and negative way. My view of leaders who want to make a change are people who do something and inspire people to do it with them, whereas we’re all being told to do nothing, which doesn’t make sense to me.

3. Jacob Zuma is one smart mo’fo’. Agreeing to launch the e-tolls and payment of using the highways is pure genius. I’d imagine less people will be using the highways (for either not owning an e-tag, fear of what would happen if they got caught or to save money), but government-issue vehicles won’t have worry because – as I understand it – the rest of us will be contributing towards the payment of those vehicles’ tolls anyway.

Again, all of this could have been way more peaceful if, from the very beginning, the people in charge went about this in a decent manner, giving everyone a fair chance to get prepared and not feel like they have had the rug swept from under their feet. SANRAL, government and everyone else making a tonne of money from this have tricked us good and proper. You have to tip your hat to them for that.

Well played, bitches. Well played.

Should I stay or should I go?

November 14th, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized 6 thoughts on “Should I stay or should I go?”

Order of events:

1. Two cars, one behind the other, are driving East to West over the intersection.

2. A pedestrian, who should not have crossed the road at this point, runs in front of Car A on the other side of the intersection.

3. Car A slams on brakes to avoid hitting the pedestrian.

4. Car B slams into the back of Car A after sudden stop.

5. Pedestrian hears the smash, looks at the stationary cars, and continues on his journey – away from the scene of the accident.

Waiting on my bike for the traffic lights to change, so that I can turn from South to East, I saw the whole thing. I turned when the lights changed, realised I’d feel terrible if I didn’t do something, turned around and proceeded to find the pedestrian who was to blame.

When I arrived at the traffic light, I could still see both cars on the other side of the intersection, assuming they were exchanging details. I chased and found the pedestrian, riding on the verge of the road at one point toward on-coming traffic (not smart), to meet the pedestrian on the side of the road.

I explained that I saw the whole thing and that he was to blame. He acknowledged that it was his fault and I coaxed him to walk back and apologise for the accident that was clearly caused by him. My aim was to at least allow the drivers to feel like this person was truly sorry for the error in judgement, and for them to not leave feeling like they had both been screwed by an unknown person who’s long gone. “It’s only right”, I thought.

When I rode back, I saw the cars had left, so I turned around, again, and told the pedestrian not to continue, but to be aware that if something like that happens, it’s unfair of him to just walk away. He was at fault, and he should apologise. He agreed, said thank you, and continued on his original journey.

At the beginning of this 5-minute saga, I felt like a hero – finding the culprit and bringing him before the people who he did wrong by. Now I just feel like a dick, and feel there was no real lesson learned.

Would you do that? Should you do that? Was I right in doing that? At first I thought yes, but now I think I may potentially have wasted my time.


Copyright Don Packett 1980-2020