THE SCIENCE INSIDE [PODCAST]: Do you hate e-tolls enough to be a terrorist?

How much do you hate e-tolls?

In January this year two incidents of envelopes that contained a white powder – that was thought to be anthrax, a deadly biological weapon – were sent to SANRAL, the people involved with e-tolls.

Do you hate e-tolls enough to be a terrorist?

In this episode we get into that infamous powder: we look at the hysteria, how a lab tests for anthrax (mostly the powder is just talcum powder) and the previous South African government’s crazy history with anthrax as a way to kill.We’ll also touch on anthrax as a wild bacteria in nature and how there – on the fur of a donkey – it’s more likely to kill you than finding a powder in the mail …

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Students feel the petrol pinch

Students who use the national roads in Gauteng (and not Malawi) were served another blow to their already gantry-sucked pockets.

The fuel price increased by a further 39 cents yesterday morning, after a 30 cent increase in December, raising the petrol price to an all time high of R13.96 for a litre of unleaded petrol. Diesel went up by 24 cents bringing it to R13.15 a litre. The Automobile Association predicts that by the end of the year petrol prices may increase to a staggering R16 per litre.

Driving woes: It's costing more and more for students to drive themselves to campus. Photo: Mia Swart

DRIVING WOES: It’s costing more and more for students to drive themselves to campus. Photo: Mia Swart

Alicia Jacobs, 1st BComm is a new driver but plans to use public transport to try and alleviate some of her costs. “Luckily I have access to reliable public transport but there are days driving through will be necessary, so I’ll do that.” She added that travelling does cost people too much money and has no idea, “how people are meant to keep up and still live off what they earn.”

Second year politics student, Xavier Mann said this increase was crazy considering how “bad the rand is doing at the moment”. At the beginning of last year Mann recalls paying just over R500 for a full tank in his VW Polo and is now paying around R630 to fill up his tank.

He added: “I think a good alternative for me right now would be starting a lift club with mates that live close to me.”

Mann also bemoaned the fact that on top of this increase are e-tolls, “I only have a part time job, I don’t make enough to keep up with increases and e-tolls.” He is taking a civil disobedience stance by not buying a tag or paying the bills sent to him and plans to keep doing so.

There was a half promise made by President Jacob Zuma late last year to look into e-toll concessions for students, but nothing has come of it yet. Afriforum Youth has launched an online petition to address this, amongst other e-tolling issues.