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The web of interaction between the cronies who brought South Africa one of the largest and most expensive tolling systems in the world, is extensive. Business Day has also uncovered some of the links between a local BEE company TMT and Kapsch TrafficCom, which together own ETC, the contractor that was awarded the tender to operate the Gautolls.
It’s complex, but here’s the simplified overview.
SAAB sold 28 Gripen fighter jets to the SA government in the arms deal. Kapsch TrafficCom was previously owned by SAAB, but has been absorbed by Kapsch Group.
Today, Kapsch TrafficCom holds a controlling stake in ETC, the company awarded the tender to operate Gautolls. TMT, a local BEE company owns the remaining 35% of ETC.
Furthermore, another business in which Kapsch has an interest, Combitech, is already operating tolls in South Africa, in partnership with Shabir Shaik’s Kombitech. Combitech is wholly owned by SAAB, the company that sold the government 28 Gripen fighter jets in the arms deal.
In an unfree world, where governments centrally plan economies, complex webs of corruption result. These webs need to get increasingly complex so the public cannot pick it up.
The state is, by definition, the territorial monopolist of exploitation. It lives like a parasite on resources of the productive people in its territory. In a free market economy, where no such exploiter existed, people are forced to serve consumers by producing products of the lowest cost and highest quality, by adding value to people’s lives. This is how freedom works.
Exploiters don’t operate this way, they seek to extract as much from the people while producing the lowest quality product or service, with no regard to whether people actually want this service or not.
As a result, we are all poorer.