Opinion: Number plates (2)

POSTED: 03/12/14 5:43 PM

Elsewhere on this page, Julian Rollocks pleads for mercy from Finance Minister Martin Hassink. He, Rollocks, wants to give people more time to get their new number plates and pay for their road tax. Our question is: why would people need more time?

Let us be honest with each other. From March 1 of every year, motorists have 365 days until the next deadline for number plates comes up. 365 days! A whole year! That is twelve months, 52 weeks, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes and a whopping 31,536,000 seconds.

If motorists put aside $22.92 per month, or $5.29 per week, or just $0.75 per day, or three pennies for every hour (we will spare our readers the calculations per minute and per second) they would have their money ready the next year.

Okay, who is doing that? Nobody. But then, when the time comes to pay, people start whining that they need more time, that it is so difficult to pay for all this and most of all (we love that one) that it is not their fault.

So please have mercy.

Really? There is a form of shortsightedness at work here that defies logic. Sure, for many people December is an expensive month and they need January to recover. And then February is a short month. Nobody asks: who controls how expensive your December month is going to be? Nobody seems to think: maybe I should take it easy because I have to pay my road tax and my number plates by the end of February? Why worry about such things during the festive season? That is no fun at all.

In the meantime, people happily blow their money on smartphones and all kinds of electronic gadgets. They talk a lot, because telecom providers offer more.

Ah, and wait a minute, April is almost there and then it is carnival, right? Funny how you never hear anybody complain about a lack of money when it is party time.

So, to cut a long story short, we figure that Minister Hassink is quite right to tighten the reins and to call a spade a spade, and a deadline a deadline.

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