Eskom, Sanral, NSFAS: This month's 'election gifts' for Mzansi

28 March 2019 - 11:04
By Cebelihle Bhengu
Motorists are overjoyed that the collection of e-toll debt has been halted.
Image: GALLO IMAGES Motorists are overjoyed that the collection of e-toll debt has been halted.

From Sanral's decision to halt debt-collection for e-tolls to Eskom's sudden announcement that there will be no load-shedding and NSFAS allocating R967m to settle students' historic debt, it has been a great month for South Africans.

But is it all part of a plan to get us voting a certain way in the May 8 elections?

Social media users think so, but they are rejoicing at these "election-season gifts".

Sanral suspends e-toll debt

The decision by the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) to suspend the collection of debt owed by motorists for e-tolls has been welcomed by some, while others said the move had "electioneering" written all over it. 

The agency's board of directors made the decision on Tuesday.

Gauteng residents have long resisted e-toll payments, with the province's premier, David Makhura, admitting the system was a failure and saying a new model was needed.

The agency has not indicated whether there will be reimbursements for those who have been paying since the system was implemented.

According to a BusinessLive report, a total of R9.2bn is owed to the agency by motorists. 

No load-shedding

On Sunday, Eskom released a statement saying no power cuts will be implemented for the week ahead, attributing this to an improvement in plant performance. 

Almost two weeks prior to this announcement, Eskom continually rolled out power cuts up to stage 4, which, according to the power utility, were due to a shortage in capacity.

NSFAS' R967m for historic debt 

On Sunday, higher education and training minister Naledi Pandor announced that R967m had been allocated to NSFAS to settle historic debt, owed to universities by more than 52,000 students.

Pandor said the government had done this because it was "sensitive to the plight of students from poor backgrounds".

This money was for students who had been funded by NSFAS prior to the improvement of the scheme in 2018. 

Scores of people have taken to Twitter to react to these "gifts", adding other things they want government to scrap.

TV licences, rent and proof of residence made the list.