Butthead’s Beat: Naughty! A demerit for you, my boy (heh, heh)

Bevis Fairbrother.

ONE thing we seem very good at in this country is drafting new laws.

There were 10 main ones back in the days of Moses, but the ‘tablets’ of today are digital so we can expand upon those KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) ‘commandments’ as much as we like. Let’s face it, we will never run out of stones or chisels these days.

However, here’s the rub: We seem to be absolutely useless at enforcing these laws, so many of them aren’t worth the cloud space they are floated in.

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For example, everyone knows that it is illegal to smoke cigarettes in just about any public space, but does anyone know anyone who has ever been fined for illegal puffing? And our prospective new president (NDZ to her friends) is basing much of her campaign on this ‘success story’.

Speeding fines! Pffft! Only the most honest of motorists actually pay fines these days unless they receive a registered summons in the post. (Joke! We haven’t even received Ugu municipal water bills for a few months, never mind fines).

There are stories galore of legislators themselves (ministers and members of parliament) running up tabs worth thousands.

The latest move to introduce a demerit system for traffic offences is really a good one and it has worked in many other parts of the world like Australia.

But, hey! Be honest you-guys-who-pull-the-big-bucks in Cape Town. How many South Africans are going to give a damn about ‘demerits’ if they ignore fines anyway?

So what if some lose their licence? Seriously! Will that stop people from driving anyway? One just has to go out and buy a new one.

Lawlessness is so blatant on the South Coast at times that it’s laughable. Quite recently, a whole committee of ‘Margate is Magic’ stalwarts were meeting at a beachfront restaurant to brainstorm ideas on how to give our seaside gem a much-needed boost.

More robust policing was one of the key suggestions. Right then, a mini bus pulled up in the designated ‘handicapped’ parking bay, followed closely by a Ray Nkonyeni traffic vehicle.

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Ah, action at last, we thought. No ways. The driver of the mini bus (who most certainly was not visibly disabled in any way) locked up and walked down to the beach. Even though there was a ‘tow-away’ sign in clear sight, the traffic officers seemed quite content with the situation.

Even Margate ward councillor Dave Watson was left scratching his head in disbelief.


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Bevis Fairbrother
Branch Manager

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