In another twist involving the public protector’s office‚ the Minister of Co-operative Governance an.
Money is so tight that no one is laughing anymore. Auntie Emma says even if you walk with eyes cast down all the time you won't find a single 5c coin on the ground.
Time was when Johannesburg was littered with these useless pieces of money. Maybe that is why people mistakenly thought the city was paved with gold.
You could not buy anything with the coins and some snooty cashiers refused to accept them. We all know the funny pricing of the city shops, where they don't give you your change if it is 5c.
This came to me last week when we took an hour to travel from the township to the Germiston taxi rank. The journey usually takes about 20 minutes.
The front-seat "accountants" were busy chatting, catching up on their news since they last met. As a result the fares were short by R17.
The taxi driver stopped at the first short left and demanded that we all pay. An investigation was carried out and every fare wasaccounted for but the driver's money still fell short by R17.
He drove on for a while and then did another short left stop. This time we had to give back our change and then send back the original fares. The "accountants" still could not reconcile the money.
The taxi went on for a while and then we had to face another stop. Then the whole business turned ugly.
One of the "accountants" accused the schoolchildren in the taxi of trying to be clever and demanded that they own up.
We defended the children because we had seen them hand their fares over. She tried to bully them but we told her to leave the children alone.
We went on for another 500m and stopped again. The driver told us to donate whatever money we had to make up for the shortfall.
Normally, before Tito Mboweni became the centre of attention, this is how shortages were reconciled. People handed over money until the driver was satisfied.
But this year no one has money. People board the taxi with the exact fare in their pockets. So the passengers did not budge and the taxi stopped again.
People at the back were openly complaining about being late. An innocent sounding voice asked the accountants if they had paid their fares. They showed us a R50 note.
The taxi did another short left. The driver threatened to go back to the township if we did not pay him. Everyone was now exhausted and fed up.
Eventually the driver said he would overlook the missing fares because we were already late for work. He said he did not want us to receive warning letters for being late.
When the shrill "accountant" got out, the missing fare turned up - under her bottom.