Archive for the ‘ Rant & Rave / Opinions ’ Category

Gauteng e-toll, Another Way We’ll Lose More Money

e-toll LogoI got this email recently about the new e-toll systems that have come up around Gauteng…

These “e-toll” systems are means of charging road users on the N1, N3, N12 and R21 in the Gauteng area by being “tolled by means of electronic and automated methods, thereby eliminating the need to queue at toll plazas. This automated non-stop method of collecting toll is referred to as e-toll.” (Extract from the e-toll website)…

There are some stories I’ve heard about why these tolls were put up. How true they are I’m not sure, but basically the reason is because the South African government borrowed money to build the 2010 soccer stadiums and this is their way of getting the money to pay back whoever it was they borrowed the money from.

Whatever their idea is and reasoning behind putting up these tolling systems may be, it comes down to taking more and more money from the average person on the street. It’s because of this that I thought it would be a good idea to put the email up on my blog to get it more exposure and have it get to as many people as possible. It definitely affects everyone in the Gauteng area, but by extension others around South Africa too and is a must read!

Here is what the email said:

Hi I hope you don’t mind me mailing this to you on this issue, but this came across my desk this morning.

I think, and I am sure that many of you are the same, that the tolls are a disgrace, both the extortionate toll fees themselves and also the widely published fact that we are expected to pay up to R18 BILLION over the next 10 years just to collect the toll fees. I wanted to share the clarity of thought in this mail and agree that I will not be installing anything on my car.

They are not going to have easy access to my bank account – they say they want a debit order – forget it. Send me a bill (by registered mail) every time – and I will pay it just as fast as I pay the speeding fines that arrive by normal post (which I also ignore).

Together we can make this whole thing fail – as it should. Let the toll gates stay there, not working, as monuments to people power.

Let’s call this the start of the SA Awakening, look what the normal people are achieving in North Africa with the Arab Awakening. Regards I hope this goes around at least a billion times. Taxes and Open Road Toll Fees People should not install the transponders but still use the highways and force the government to issue accounts and summonses to all motorists until such time they drop the prices. The government will be forced to send out millions of accounts every month and they don’t have the manpower to do it. This is the best and easiest way to boycott the system. What is the government going to do about motorists from other neighboring countries that don’t have these transponders? South Africans are too complacent and its time we fight back.

WE have paid for these roads. Now they are also proposing a 1% tax to fund the SABC.

Circulate this to all your friends!!!!!!!!

Has anyone thought just how much tax we are already paying?

a. 35% on your salary
b.14% on everything you buy (bar fresh produce) and services rendered.
c. Carbon tax if you buy a new car (besides the 14% VAT you have to pay)
d. Tax on the fuel you put in your car to run it.
e. Toll on our roads – and for some it is going to come to a whopper of 10% of your salary (If you earn R10 000.00 a R1 000 would go toward tolling if you migrate between PTA and JHB every day.) – Bully to try and pacify me with the idea that I can claim it back from my income tax!!! I have to fork out the money first. Going on holiday to DBN? Remember to save up your R1000.00 for tolling.

To say the least – For every R10.00 you earn, the government is already taking approx R6.00 and still they want more. Are you happy with the R4.00 you are getting? NICE!!!!!

When are we going to get up and do something about it? Where is all the money going to? It is definitely not being spent on what it should be – our hospitals are in a state of disrepair, our schools in shambles, our roads full of potholes, our water contaminated, sewers not working, left in the dark because Eskom failed to do their upgrades, the poor are poorer still, municipalities on the brink of collapse, and so the list goes on.

Heard about the youth day celebration that cost R100 million? Mmmm… did you pay for it? Oh yes sir/madam you did! R100 million that could have paid for a couple of things our country needed more.

And to put the numbers in perspective: The next time you hear an SA politician use the word ‘billion’ in a casual manner, think about whether you wanted the ‘politicians’ spending YOUR tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its press releases:

A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive. C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.
D. A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.
E. A billion Rand ago was only 27 hours and 12 minutes at the rate our SA government is spending it. (a billion rand a day??!!)

  • Building Permit
  • Tax Cigarette
  • Tax Corporation Tax
  • Income Tax Value Added Tax
  • Fishing License Tax
  • Food License Tax
  • Fuel License Tax
  • Petrol/Diesel
  • Tax Hunting License Tax
  • Luxury Tax
  • Property Tax
  • Service charge taxes
  • Capital gains Tax
  • Social Security Tax
  • Securities Transfer Tax
  • Road Usage Tax
  • Local Tax
  • Vehicle License Registration Tax
  • Vehicle Sales Tax
  • Worker’s Compensation Tax

STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY? Hardly any of these taxes existed 20 years ago… And our nation was one of the most prosperous in Africa. We had absolutely no national debt… We had the largest middle class in Africa and Mum stayed home to raise the kids. What happened ? ANSWER : Look at the Government…..and who is ‘running’ the country…. INTO THE GROUND – on YOUR and MY ‘billions’!!!

I hope this goes around at least a billion times.

[END]

Something to think about isn’t it?

e-toll

e-toll By Night

Always remember, give a jackass an education and you’ll have a smartass!

Signing out.

G™

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If You’re Gullible , You Can Google!

Rumours

These WhatsApp rumours are getting old! Don’t they remind you of all the chain messages and stories spread that MXit would close down, or delete your account if you didn’t forward a specific message to x amount of people? Or the time the Facebook was going to start charging for using it or whatever?? The messages are all the same with the word order changing!

It got me thinking and wondering just how gullible some people are? … Quick, look up, gullible is written on the roof! … Say “Football” really slowly and it sounds like you’re saying gullible!

I guess some people just take things at face-value and don’t find out if what they’re being told is actually true. Others are just… I don’t know…. They just really gullible! We all know some people like that, which is all good and well when it’s for a joke now and again, but not when it starts spreading like wildfire and affects who knows how many hundreds of people around the world like these WhatsApp messages have and as result, those who forwarded the messages all hit their own panic stations.

Like seriously now, how legit do these messages ACTUALLY sound? :

“Whatsapp is shutting down on 28th Jan Message from Jim Balsamic (CEO of Whatsapp) we have had an over usage of user names on whatsapp Messenger. We are requesting all users to forward this message to their entire contact list. If you do not forward this message, we will take it as your account is invalid and it will be deleted within the next 48 hours. Please DO NOT ignore this message or whatsapp will no longer recognise your activation. If you wish to re-activate your account after it has been deleted, a charge of 25.00 will be added to your monthly bill. We are also aware of the issue involving the pictures updates not showing. We are working diligently at fixing this problem and it will be up and running as soon as possible. Thank you for your cooperation from the Whatsapp team”

“WhatsApp is going to cost us money soon. The only way that it will stay free is if you are a frequent user i.e. you have at least 10 people you are chatting with. To become a frequent user send this message to 10 people who receive it (2 ticks) and your WhatsApp logo should turn Red to indicate a frequent user.“

Think about it for a minute? With the ease of access to and abundance to information on the internet as there is today, surely the first thing you would, or at least should do, is open your internet browser on your phone, your PC or wherever… Go to trusty old Google and searching a phrase from or exactly what you were told? Am I right in assuming this or am I expecting a bit much from others?

Besides posting some points about this WhatsApp hoax on How To Work My Apple Device in an article entitled “WhatsApp Closing? WhatsApp Starting to Charge for Use? What’s Up?” here is a brief summary to show that these messages are as fake as Pamela Anderson’s boobs:

  • WhatsApp hasn’t, themselves, said that they will be charging users or closing down.
  • WhatsApp wouldn’t announce its plans to start charging for the service “via a vague and poorly worded instant message or Facebook post.”
  • WhatsApp would not make people prove they are frequent users by sending on a message to ten people.
  • Another reason why people won’t be charged for usage is due to this sentence which is on the WhatsApp website: “WhatsApp Messenger uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends”

Something to think about isn’t it? To find that info took me all of 1 minute to Google “whatsapp logo turn red” and read the first link which is a post by Hoax-Slayer. You can read that here if you really want to.

People should stop believing everything they get told!…

Question everything!

Yes, you heard me… Question everything! Even this blog article. “But why?” you may ask… Well here is why:

If you question everything it will be forced to find out if what you are being told is true and legit. Doing the quick research or finding out will help you find the correct answers. It also makes having that knowledge more worthwhile, because you made the effort to check what you have been said and you can with certainty forward on what you have learnt or share what you have learned.

I think that’s all I have to say about that for now 🙂

Always remember, give a jackass an education and you’ll have a smartass!

Signing out.

G™

Don’t Underestimate Us

“Don’t Underestimate Us”… Don’t underestimate who? I’m talking about the youth, younger people. People otherwise considered inexperienced, those who always feel like people take you and your input for granted…

Ever done something someone said you wouldn’t be able to do, or had the odds stacked against you, only because those around you underestimated what you’re capable of, or even had someone try take advantage of you, simply because they don’t think you know what’s going on or have any idea of what you’re entitled to or your rights?

With all due respect, for those who are in further on in years, and I don’t mean this in a nasty way… But for these people, gaining someone’s respect is an almost given and people tend to trust your instincts and opinions more easily. Why? Only because with life comes experience… But it’s not just getting through life and gaining the experience! You have to have learnt something as a result thereof and applied the the lesson learnt from the mistakes which , yourself have made. However, for those of us, who in the eyes of the above mentioned people, we have to fight for our opinions, abilities and skills to be heard and noticed. I’ve got nothing against having to fight for some things, simply because it makes us better and stronger people when we pull through it.

There comes a time though when it’s not acceptable and where we need to take a stand and maintain our momentum at whatever you’re are doing or with whatever is going on. This is basically when people or, in my case, a company try take advantage of you, or because they are just taking chances, assuming that you don’t know what’s going on, what they are trying to do… Or basically for whatever reason they might have come up with.

I never thought I’d ever say this, but thanks to certain elements of the education system in South Africa and the introduction of Life Orientation to the curriculum, most kids, even whilst at school and the young adults leaving shcool, come out knowing a lot more about their rights than those in higher positions or those older than us. Yes, those in more superior positions or those older than us might know these principles or rights, but either choose not to remember or have completely forgotten them. Sad actually in the society we live in today…

With the knowledge we my have, there comes a sense of responsibility to keep ourselves “in check” so as not to come across too blasé or “in your face” when it comes to using and applying this knowledge.

Remember that line from the first Spiderman movie? At the end when Peter Parker leaves the funeral, “with great power, comes great responsibility”?? Yes? Well, that’s what I’m trying to get at here. It having a position of authority or superior knowledge doesn’t entitle those to use and abuse both the knowledge or others because of it. It also doesn’t mean that you have to got sit back and watch from the sidelines as people walk all over you because you’re affraid of what might come of speaking up. It’s not like you’d sit quietly and not give a helping hand if you had a solution you knew would work with the Global Warming crisis, only because someone told you it wouldn’t work. Slightly exaggerated, yes… But it gets the point across doesn’t it?

Basically what I’m trying to get at are the following 3 things:

1. Don’t just focus on what you’re doing or what you’re good at, it helps knowing at least the basics of what is termed “general knowledge”.

2. Don’t try abuse a position you might because you have more power or greater knowledge

3. Don’t underestimate the abilities, skills and strengths of those around you because you may think they don’t have a clue.

Just some advice, use it or loose it… ALWAYS read the fine print! Know what you’re entitled to, especially on the work front and regarding the law. And lastly, its published all over, but know your rights! If you don’t know them, Google it. Save it somewhere, because one day is one day you’re going to be stuck in a situation and knowing a simple line or clause from your work contract or Conditions of Employment actcan really catch those trying to use and abuse you off guard and there isn’t much they can do about that. It’s in the contract! It’s your right.

Signing off.

Always remember, give a jackass an education and you get a
smartass.

G™

Goodbyes in Modern Society

For those who know me and for the few who have been reading my blog, you will know I have recently resigned from work and am moving back up-country. The closer to the day that I leave comes, the more sentimental certain times feel and become. Edging nearer to the day I leave, I’ve been thinking, is it really necessary to say “goodbye” to friends and loved ones in the society we live in today? Is “goodbye” really a goodbye, or is it more of an “until I see you again”??

It’s not that long ago that social networking platforms like MySpace and Bebo started. It afforded many of us the opportunity to see what our friends are up to and what’s news in their respective lives without either being a nuisance or intruding too much. And I DO NOT mean this in a stalkerish way. löl.

Not long after these platforms started, Facebook and then Twitter came onto the scene, giving us real-time updates into the lives of or friends and family. It gave us a chance to view pictures and even video footage of, for example, your close friend who has moves overseas. Or even an old school friend who has moved away, or hell, even that mate you see often. It’s all very interesting and in a
sense, still has that personal touch.

With other platforms like the popular Skype, and now with Apple’s FaceTime application, “seeing” a friend who is on the other side of the globe or cousin on the other side of the country has become a lot easier…

Feel like laughing about the silly things you did as a kid, with your longest standing friend? No problem! You can do it the “conventional” way by calling them on the phone, or catch up on Skype, maybe send them a text message on BBM or Whatsapp. Or even call them up on FaceTime. While we’re on the BBM/Whatsapp thing, why send them text? Send a voice-note! Never done it? Give it a try! It’s easier than typing and definitely is quite amusing and fun!

Besides, it seems and feels more personal than a text. There’s nothing better than hearing the voice of an old friend whom you haven’t spoken to in a while. Again, I ask: is it really necessary to say “goodbye”?

Using Facebook as my main example, you can still keep in contact with friends and family. The great part about it is you only have to say it once, so you’re not constantly repeating the same story over and over and over again… And you can choose who you want to share what info with, so you can block that person who keeps commenting on all your pictures or that family member who comments on every single status. Don’t deny it, you know you’ve blocked some people for whatever reason…. And that you only tell and let some people know certain things. You know what I mean. . .

In my opinion, a “goodbye” isn’t what it used to be. And I mean that in a good way. As a result of the social networking advancement and where we are technologically at the moment, seeing and catching up with friends who have moved away or that you can’t or don’t see as often has become tremendously easier! Unless the person lives under a rock and isn’t involved on use any social networking platforms and by extension this means email too. It’s actually scary that we still have some people like that in our modern society today…

So next time someone has to leave, moves away, or even goes home after visiting you and stays just up the road from you, don’t feel so bad or down about it. You unfortunately won’t be able to feel their touch, but hearing their voice, catching up or seeing them you will definitely be doing so soon!

My request for those who can: call up an old friend, but not the usual way from your phone, Skype video call, or FaceTime call or for the fun of it, try a voice note conversation on BBM or Whatsapp with someone. Even if you can’t keep the voice convo going for long, give it a try to start a convo. It’s definitely a laugh!

Signing off.

Always remember, give a jackass an education and you get a smartass.

G™

Mondays

Today has not been my best day to say the least. It started off badly and didn’t get any better. It was one of those days where things just go wrong and get progressively worse.

Something about today just didn’t feel right either. We really need to start trusting in our gut instincts more!

Why are Monday’s generally so bad? What’s with the whole stigma surrounding Monday’s?

So I wake up, only to find I haven’t got any clean clothes for work, so already I’m irritable. It’s misty and overcast and I’m feeling tired, yet I press on, determined that I’ll be able to make something of this day, despite wearing something I’m not particularly fond of and not in the mood for today in any case, because I’ve recently resigned from the company I’m currently working for and completing the last 2 weeks of having to work here…. Anyways, the people at the current company treat you like the plague once you resign, deliberately ignoring you and giving you these dirty looks. It’s not pleasant and really makes coming to work a drag….

Getting back to the story…. So I press on, determined to make today go better. I get told I have to go see a client and I’m all too happy to get out of the office a bit. En-route to the client, driving along a gravel road, a plank driving his bakkie comes head-on and is seriously moving down this ground road…. I try to move out-of-the-way a bit, because typically, the part of the road that’s less gravel-like and more compact and hard is slightly over to the middle of the road and this guy is coming straight at me, I try to get out-of-the-way and end up losing control of the car and it ends in an accident. Feeling utterly s**t, I get hold of the office to let them know what happened… Did I mention I was driving a company car?…. this does little for the already hostile circumstances at the office…

Long story short I’m back at the office and the dirty looks and treatment from certain “colleagues” is even worse. I ignore them, really not in the mood for their nonsense and carry on with the vehicle accident report process.

During all this, the shoes I’m wearing(one of my new pairs) decides to tear… Seriously… I’m quite fussy when it comes to finding shoes, so when something like my shoe tearing from its sole happens, I’m no very Impressed to say the least!

…Yes, I’m feeling sorry for myself…

It all got me wondering and trying to find a link between why we don’t like Monday’s in particular and why things end up going wrong and not working out on a Monday. I figured that it’s linked to where we are and what we’re doing.

It’s because either we, in this case, me… We don’t enjoy what we’re doing for work or where it is we’re doing this and so we’re not giving it out “all”. Think about it for a sec. If you’re doing something because you have to and not because you want to, things tend to either go wrong or you get it done, but things don’t go smoothly. If we’re doing it because we want to and we’re enjoying it, well then it’s a whole different board game and Things seem to go so much better.

What are we doing when we’re at work? We’re selling our soul for some Income to spend over the weekends. We have to enjoy what we do otherwise selling our soul for that pay-check at the end of the month isn’t worth it. Yes the money is often better for something we don’t enjoy as much, but is it always worth sacrificing your happiness? Think about Marshall from How I Met Your Mother… He’s working as a lawyer, but not in the side of the industry he wanted to be in, and if you’ve watched season 6, you’ll see he’s not really happy. Yes, I know it’s a TV series, but it’s pretty similar to situations many of us face in life anyways!

More and more I feel I need to get away! You know that feeling when you’ve been on holiday for long enough and just want to get back home? That’s how I feel now! I’ve got 2 weeks left and I’m going back “home”… I really cannot wait! But typically karma or whatever it is, won’t allow the time to feel like it’s passing quickly like the last few months have. I’ve had enough of where I am and what I’m doing at the moment and I want and need to be back where I feel comfortable and where I perform at my best. I’ll find something I enjoy that makes that money in the bank all the more worth while.

Do it for the love of it!

Always remember, you gotta risk it for the biscuit!

Signing out.

G™