22 January 2014

South Africa: Analysis - E-Tolls' First Act of Sabotage, a Sign of Deep Discontent


Barely a month after e-tolling officially began operating in Gauteng the first act of "sabotage" against roads agency, Sanral, has taken place. On Tuesday an anthrax scare led to a mass evacuation of an operations centre and forced those purple eyes over the highways to momentarily blink. If Sanral had any doubt that it's losing the battle for the hearts and minds of motorists, ALEX ALISEEV suggests it should agonise no more.

Let's begin with the facts surrounding the "anthrax scare": A "suspicious envelope containing a white substance" was discovered at Sanral's Central Operations Centre in Midrand on Tuesday. Staff was evacuated briskly and police were summoned along with the guys in those hazmat suits. Later it was reported that thirty-seven people had been "decontaminated and hospitalised as a precautionary measure."

According to Sanral, the electricity supply to the building had to be cut and the scare caused a "disruption" to e-tolling, for which an apology was issued (if there has ever been a time when an apology wasn't needed, this was surely it).

The roads agency "seriously condemned" the incident and said it "borders on a very serious crime" and e-tolling critics took the opportunity to remind everyone just...

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