South Africa, Maverick Life

Casualties of Cola: THE UN-INDEPENDENT

By Daily Maverick Chronicle 9 December 2015

When Thabo Reginald Tsolo was asked by his ABI managers to resign from his position as a driver and promised an OD contract, he waited three anxious months for the necessary documentation. He found himself adrift in the grey zone between his old life as an employee and his new life as an entrepreneur. When the contract finally did materialise, Tsolo was so broke that he was in no position to question the p’s and q’s. “Sign, signature, sign, initial. Like that,” he said. By DAILY MAVERICK CHRONICLE.

The contract, he soon found, was a Kafkaesque money-trap. As an independent owner-driver, he was discouraged from delivering for any company other than ABI, and he was obliged to transport ABI product on ABI’s “horses”—industry argot for trucks. According to the Truck Tractor Lease Agreement appended to the contract, “the Owner Driver shall pay to ABI in respect of the use of the Truck Tractor a monthly rental equivalent to R7967.40 plus VAT thereon.” This was another way of saying that he was now paying ABI for the use of a vehicle he was previously paid to drive. Cleaning, washing, fuel, oil, lubricants, maintenance and shortages were suddenly added to his operating tab. He could not deliver to the district of his choice, but was instead assigned the East Rand’s Bedfordview depot. This was terra incognita: Tsolo and his crew would often find themselves in Alexandra at midnight, looking for outlets in the pitch dark.

Read the full feature here.

Photo: Rows of trucks wait to be loaded up with soft drinks for the day’s deliveries. Photo credit: Shaun Swingler.

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Watch Pauli van Wyk’s Cat Play The Piano Here!

No, not really. But now that we have your attention, we wanted to tell you a little bit about what happened at SARS.

Tom Moyane and his cronies bequeathed South Africa with a R48-billion tax shortfall, as of February 2018. It's the only thing that grew under Moyane's tenure... the year before, the hole had been R30.7-billion. And to fund those shortfalls, you know who has to cough up? You - the South African taxpayer.

It was the sterling work of a team of investigative journalists, Scorpio’s Pauli van Wyk and Marianne Thamm along with our great friends at amaBhungane, that caused the SARS capturers to be finally flushed out of the system. Moyane, Makwakwa… the lot of them... gone.

But our job is not yet done. We need more readers to become Maverick Insiders, the friends who will help ensure that many more investigations will come. Contributions go directly towards growing our editorial team and ensuring that Daily Maverick and Scorpio have a sustainable future. We can’t rely on advertising and don't want to restrict access to only those who can afford a paywall subscription. Membership is about more than just contributing financially – it is about how we Defend Truth, together.

So, if you feel so inclined, and would like a way to support the cause, please join our community of Maverick Insiders.... you could view it as the opposite of a sin tax. And if you are already Maverick Insider, tell your mother, call a friend, whisper to your loved one, shout at your boss, write to a stranger, announce it on your social network. The battle for the future of South Africa is on, and you can be part of it.


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