As I write, in the background Tshepiso of the television current affairs programme Interface is conducting a heated debate with three gentlemen around the issue of the charges withdrawal against JZ. This week has been about him and I suspect that just as much as the studio guests are bedazzled by this politician cum celebrity the rest of the country is; guest number one defends the NPA’s decision to drop the charges which is understandable because he is from that camp, the other one is from one of the academic institution with a specialty in political science, while the third is a professor…you get the picture; a bunch of learned motor mouths.
In the other deep background not the pseudo one; the background that all of us will feel the hardest in teh long run: the truck drivers, South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) are on a strike, my guess is food is running out in the shops but most importantly it is fuel in the filling stations that is running out and I dread the day when everything will come to a stand still because of fuel shortages. The drivers are crying out for salary increases.
A couple of weeks ago it was the taxi drivers who took to the streets to question the taxi recapitalization. Their outcry was that they were not properly consulted by the government officials and most of the taxi associations were afraid that their jobs will be on the line. We saw the great metropolis – Johannesburg came to a stand still. A month or so ago it was the bus drivers who went on a strike. What is wrong with this picture? A country that should be working like clock work I struggling with one of the simplest things. Consultation which in its outstretch format we can break it into: communication, mediation and feedback. If only those people charged with making sure that policies and plans to make the modern world operate efficiently were doing their work then we should not be stuck with mere problems that can be solved well ahead before their manifestations.
Take this anecdote from my life for instance; my son and I parted ways with his mother who was headed for work one Saturday morning. Mission: to pick up one of our old cellphones at a repair shop somewhere in Town. My boy is still a toddler which should give you a pretty picture of how fast he can walk, thus being car-less, we decided to take a bus. Well he enjoys bus rides anyway. He has had them periodically since he was still a few months old when he had to get his injection at the local clinic. Anyways returning to the present narrative. We took the opportunity of the one stage bus stop along Essellen Street. When we arrived a few people were dotting the bus stop patiently for the next bus. We waited something like half and hour to forty five minutes before we realized that the bus was not coming. My boy was already groaning with boredom I suppose from wonderment of why we stood there while nothing happened. People started to move away cursing. Well it was time for our cue. I whisked the little fellow on my curve and trotted towards the robot and crossed the Haimilton Street and headed westward towards Town.
I wondered if the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system was to be put in place would transportation problems be solved if a simple transport system such as the municipal buses fail to arrive on time. If the little fellow and I should have went up the road earlier that morning with my madam we would’ve surely gotten a taxi and cruised across Sunnyside and be in Town in good time to get back to sit for cartoons, except that we would be way of the mark of our destination unlike if we could have taken the bus. Fact is we would’ve gotten transport at least. The way I see it the government have a thing or two to learn from the efficiency of the taxi industry in our country before it tempers with it!
As for colleagues and friends who have visited families out of Gauteng I wonder if they will be back in time due to the shortages of fuel after the Easter holidays with the consequences of the trucks which include petrol transportation.
© 2009 mmutle arthur kgokong