The new minister of Transport Kitso Mokaila was in his element in Selebi-Phikwe where he promised audience at transport pitso that among others he is determined to stop the importation of Japanese cars, as well as slashing air and train fares to curb accidents on the roads.
Mokaila’s two intentions immediately present huge problems. Here is a minister, without the evidence of any research findings, claiming that Japanese cars are contributing more to environmental pollution than mining emissions. Indeed to say these statements in the absence of any documented evidence to back the utterances is both irresponsible and unfortunate.
However one would understand, coming from a minister who says he had been pursuing such an agenda since his days at the Ministry of Environment. In fact from his utterances in Phikwe, it is clear even during his Environment and Tourism days, when he raised the same debate, it was without any documented evidence, hence some of his colleagues in cabinet dismissed him as being a stooge of some local car magnates who just want to protect their trade from Japanese car resellers. A research would do, would help the likes of Minister Mokaila perhaps to appreciate not only the pollution side, but the extent of relief, job creation, poverty eradication, local empowerment, employment statistics, such fongkongs
Minister Mokaila may not be a customer at Mogoditshane, or may not have set foot there in decades because he has no business with fongkongs, but research would help him appreciate the economic value of these car imports to the economy everyday, as well as to government coffers via all forms of tax, either through the gate, or through corporate and income tax.
We wonder if minister Mokaila may be suggesting that accidents on the roads are caused by the Japanese cars.
As for slashing air and train fares, such a move is welcome, but remember minister that we still do not have a railway line or direct flights to most parts of the country, airports are also very few. So perhaps before considering the fares slash, it would help to build more airports, developing railway lines to other major centres, otherwise the fares slash would continue to benefit the same customers who have been relying on these modes of transport all along.