We’re livin’ on the edge
What does rock band Aerosmith have in common with South Africa in 2017? This very song title…
I love Aerosmith. The band made some really good music that still sounds good today at – let’s call it – concert levels of volume… I love South Africa, too. Our country began to make some really good music post 1994, and it still has a lot going for it…
However, as Steve Tyler and the boys sang:
There’s something wrong with the world today
I don’t know what it is
Something’s wrong with our eyes…
Indeed, somehow, we’ve lost sight of what’s important in our world, and we no longer know what it is. Countless issues left bubbling away beneath the surface are coming to a head in 2017.
For example, by the time you read this, thousands of South Africa’s un- and underemployed could be rioting in the streets because unlawful and dodgy dealings in the South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) were left to continue after being under scrutiny for years.
I hope I’m wrong, of course. Those people need their money to survive.
Then we have the ongoing issue between the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), Tasima, and Telkom over current issues regarding the electronic National Traffic Information System (eNatis), which may cause problems with vehicle and drivers’ licence renewals, as well as the payment of traffic fines.
At the time of writing (March 24), the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) had just issued a press release on the matter, urging all vehicle owners and drivers to be aware of the problem.
The situation, as reported by the AA, stems from an urgent action brought through the North Gauteng High Court by the RTMC, which sought to stop Telkom from cutting services to eNatis.
Telkom, which is owed R8 million, has threatened to suspend services to eNatis. Tasima, the company currently in possession of eNatis, has said the RTMC must pay the money; leading to an impasse between the parties.
“Amongst all this the interests of the South African motoring public seems to have been forgotten. This matter has been dragging on for years, and now, finally, we are seeing the potentially devastating effects it will have on motorists,” says the AA.
While private motorists still have the option of getting around by using public transport or carpooling, it’s a different story for the thousands of road-freight transporters who keep the country ticking. If drivers or operators can’t renew their driving or vehicle licences, how quickly could these businesses and jobs be lost? How quickly could South Africa grind to a halt?
To complicate matters, the Constitutional Court ruled that the current contract between the Department of Transport and Tasima be declared invalid, and the eNatis system be handed over to the RTMC. Tasima and the RTMC have, again, failed to reach an agreement.
“While we certainly hope this matter can be brought to a swift conclusion, we cannot help but be concerned about the fallout from this debacle.
“Law-abiding citizens are going to be the hardest hit, and, on top of everything, are paying the legal costs of the RTMC in the process. Who is responsible for this mess is a debate for another day; what is important now is that it is resolved quickly,” the AA notes.
Livin’ on the edge? Like no other time in the last 23 years…
Tell me what you think about our situation
Is getting to you.
Sing it Steve!