The CEO of citizen advocacy group OUTA Wayne Duvenage is a major thorn in the side of government. For which he deserves our support. He spoke to Cape Messenger’s John Fraser.
JF. What was your first car, and what can you tell us about it?
WD. A second-hand light blue Datsun 1200 Delux. It got stolen when I was a student at University in Durban, after owning it for six months. It was recovered a few days later, but it was never the same again.
JF. You are the former head of a Car Hire company. Is this model sustainable?
WD. Yes, Car Rental will always have a place, but it is being challenged by the Ubers and other efficient short-term grid-type transport solutions coming into play. Innovation is the key to survival for the travel and tourism industries today.
JF. OUTA was formed to combat e-tolls in Gauteng. Are you winning?
WD. Absolutely. Just this week, Sanral announced that the e-toll scheme is way off the mark when it comes to meeting its objectives. They say less than a third of road users are paying. We put it as less than 1 in 4, but nonetheless, it has failed as a user-pays scheme. Sanral have now also indicated that the fuel levy option appears to be a favoured alternative to fund the Gauteng Freeway upgrade, which is the option we suggested they use back in 2010. It’s only a matter of time before Government pulls the plug on the scheme.JF. OUTA has launched criminal action against some prominent people, including Cabinet Ministers. Do you think they care?
JF. OUTA has launched criminal action against some prominent people, including Cabinet Ministers. Do you think they care?
WD. Oh yes, they do. While they may feel a little safe for now, knowing that President Zuma has their back and the NPA / Hawks will be kept on a chain, this they know will not always be the case. And when the tide turns, there will be a lot of politicians, DGs and SOE Board Members in the dock, or holed up in some hot Arabian desert enclaves, with their international assets frozen and under pressure to return to South Africa to face the charges against them.
JF. Do you mourn the demise of Bell Pottinger?
WD. Not at all. They were the masters of their own fateful destiny. In fact, it came a lot sooner than I thought it would and what I love about this outcome is that not a cent was spent on lawyers to bring this rotten PR firm to its knees. The power of civil society in action gets more astounding every day.
JF. Apart from e-tolls, what road rule annoys you most?
WD. Its the lack of adherence to the road rules (aside from those pesky e-toll signs) that annoys me. And then its the recently released AARTO (penalty point) regulations that worry me. Not so much because their intention to manage the road behaviour and conduct goes, but like e-tolls, in the context of the poor administrative environment, the system will fail.
JF. And what about other drivers? What infuriates you about them?
WD. Those damn taxis, that stop to load and offload passengers in the middle of the road, when there is a taxi/bus stop pull-off kerb within 20 to 50 metres of where they are. Simply no consideration for their fellow road users and less so for their passengers, driving unroadworthy vehicles and skipping red lights as if they never existed.
JF. Do you ever drink and drive?
WD. Does Water count?
JF. What do you think about the attacks by traditional taxi drivers on Uber drivers?
WD. It’s sickening. Uber has not diminished the meter taxi market at all. It has created a new market through its innovation. Many people like myself have never travelled in a meter taxi in SA before. Yet we frequently use Uber today, due to its convenience and innovation. Can you imagine the Horse and Carriage rider attacking the driver of the Model-T ford because of the new innovative ways of getting around over a century ago? These meter taxi drivers are out of line and must be charged.
Now let’s get OUTA here.