I travel along the N12 highway between Johannesburg and Witbank at least once a week, sometimes twice - depending on work. However, more recently I’ve been exposed to some pretty worrying things along my commute, one is the Blue Light Brigade and the other, is the vehicles they use.
Let’s start with the blue light bullies.
A few weeks ago, while travelling back to Witbank from our office in Johannesburg on the N12 highway, I noticed a car approaching at one heck of a speed. It was a Friday at around 4.30pm. As this car was getting closer, I was in the process of overtaking a coal truck. There are a lot of trucks on the N12 as it is one of the main connecting roads between Mozambique, Nelspruit, Witbank and Johannesburg.
Anyway, as I was passing this truck, the speeding car descended on me so fast, I thought it was going to ram me and yes, it had its blue lights flaring and was even flashing at me with high beams. This blue light bully was so close, I could see the bugs in the grille; the driver was trying to force me to go faster and move out of his way.
Once I passed the truck, I began moving over when the impatient hooligan behind me came pushing past. The right-hand side of the hooligan’s car was just about off the road. Now here’s my complaint… this car, travelling at well over the speed limit, wasn’t a police car, nor was it an emergency vehicle. It was in fact a silver German luxury SUV with public number plates. Taking the time of day into consideration I doubt this person was rushing to an important meeting. I bet this particular driver in his government-subsidised SUV was burning government-subsidised fuel just to get back to his government-subsidised house.
This is blatant misuse of public money as well as position. What makes this driver any different from the other countless number of drivers, who also need to get home, quickly? Let me not get into the issue of his reckless driving! I’m sorry, but these public servants (as they call themselves), should be held responsible and accountable for their actions and we, the public, should call them out!
Another issue is the vehicles that are used by these bullies. I will exempt the president from this but, Mr Minister, no one cares or even knows you and this is aimed at you.
A few months ago while driving through Midrand, a Blue Light Cavalcade screamed past me - a familiar occurrence in Gauteng, I know. However, this particular cavalcade consisted of three Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8s and two BMW X5s. Now for those of you who don’t know, a Jeep SRT8 features a big, thirsty 6.4-litre V8 and costs just over R1-million. Now I ask you, why does the government need to make use of high-performance, fuel-guzzling SUVs? What’s wrong with a diesel Toyota Fortuner? It will use less fuel, especially considering that these guys tend to travel at well over the speed limit for reasons we just cannot explain.
Government, listen up! Stop wasting our money on things that you do not need. There are other issues that need attention and a huge, expensive SUV or luxury saloon is not one of them. I saw a TV advert on the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and they were thanking the public for paying taxes as the taxes are used for schools and hospitals to better people’s lives. Well, government, I bet you can do so much more for the poor in this country if you stop wasting money that isn’t yours! You are misusing public money at a time when our economy is on thin ice. I cannot afford to pay for your luxuries any longer!