Less than two years ago our government deemed it necessary to ban the importation of vehicles older than eight years. They justified this decision by stating that it was part of an overall policy towards a greener economy since new vehicles had better emission efficiency than the older models.
Many a small man has suffered because of this policy. This is especially true for hinterland locations where the “old model” buses and pick-ups, which are best suited for those conditions, were outlawed in favour of the new model highly electronic vehicles.
This same government now turns around and imports aircraft which are way beyond the stringent regulations that were imposed on vehicles.
Is our government aware that aircraft cause higher pollution than vehicles? Are they also aware that a 40-year-old plane will have much less emission efficiency as against a modern day aircraft?
The argument behind the purchase of these “old” planes is that it is ideally suited for our conditions. Well what an irony! For it was exactly the same reason that many wanted an exception to the eight-year rule but were bluntly denied.
Or how about their other justification – it is what we can afford. Umm, isn’t that what many of us also said when we were informed about the eight-year requirement? Yet we were completely ignored.
So what message really is our government sending by purchasing such old and outdated air crafts? That they abide by different rules to the general populace? That only the populace need to make sacrifices and spend more in the interest of a green economy while the government is allowed to continue to pollute?
And it is not only with the purchase of old aircraft that our government is showing scant regard for their policy of a green economy. Is there any minister driving a low energy hybrid vehicle? Heck no! All can be seen driving gas guzzling monster SUVs. It is more about status and symbol than it is about the environment.
Oh how this country screams for leadership which sets the example! But at the end of the day it is all about the common adage – “Do as I say, not as I do!”