Eek-toll!

“In the Cape we have the beautiful mountains, but in Gauteng we have e-toll.”

These were the joking words of the pilot who flew passengers from Cape Town to Johannesburg.

etag 2

The e-toll road system provides road users with a vastly improved network of roads and I for one am glad to have the improvements. In the light of the above I don’t mind paying the fees but  Oh dear…… the administration of the e-toll system …… EEK!

Shortly after the e-toll system was activated I received an account in the post.  Five printed pages in colour for the full amount of R21.50 to be paid at one of the e-toll booths or online on the website .  ( The paper, ink and postage must have cost much much more than R21.50 I thought )

That was when my close encounter with the e-toll adminstration system started.

The website did not allow me to pay as I am not a registered user with a registered account. So off to the shopping centre to find an e-toll booth I go. There it was in the middle of the centre decked in bright orange and black, boasting about the ease of payments and registering an account in bright bold letters.

That sounds easy I thought and joined the queue of waiting customers. The queue consisted of about 7 people and I was under the impression that within 15 minutes or so I would reach the front and be able to register and pay my account.

One hour later and almost no movement in the queue. People started chatting, some grumbled about the delay, others joked and some just sighed and waited patiently. The attendant tried to explain by blaming the slow system which made matters even worse.   After 90 minutes it was my turn at last, only to hear that I am not able to register an account at this booth but  can pay outstanding fees.

a Week later I visit another e-toll office to try again to register an account and buy an e-tag. This time the attendant told me their system is offline and to come back later. I left with the shouts of an irritated customer following me outside. An hour later I returned.

Yes the attendant said we are online again but the system is slow . It is trying though!”

This time I was lucky and left triumphantly. Now I am the owner of a pre-paid e-tag and will hopefully not receive ridiculous accounts anymore.

etag

The following day I  opened the postbox to find six different e-toll accounts all for the same amount of money which was allready paid.

I wonder how long it will take before the administration, the waste of paper postage, ink as well as manpower cause the whole system to collapse.

What do you think?

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