My boom business



July 9, 2016
My boom business

CHARGE: Ralph Fisher started toll between Borcherds Quarry and R300. CREDIT: Patrick Louw

Crossroads man earns R150 daily by letting drivers use his shortcut.

This man spotted a gap in the market and is now charging motorists a “toll” to use his yard as a shortcut.

Ralph Fisher of Crossroads managed to bring tolls to the N2 before the South African Road Agency Limited (Sanral) could.

For a small fee, this wakker entrepreneur has been helping frustrated motorists reach their destination just a little quicker.

Traffic on the N2 between Borcherds Quarry and R300 has been a nightmare since road works started last year.

But if you’re willing to part with R10, and don’t mind your car getting a little mud on it, then you can take a detour through Ralph’s front yard.

Ralph has put up a boom and even “repairs” the road by filling up pot holes.

He tells Daily Voice: “People don’t want to sit in this traffic so they drive through the Klipfontein Mission Station to get to Lansdowne Road on the other side.

“Because so many cars pass through here there are always holes in the road and I refill them every time.

“So last year I decided to make my own boom where I would charge people R10 so they can drive through.

“I usually get my own sand and rubble to fill the road but now I can buy sand to fix the road and I can put something on the table to eat,” he adds.

Ralph says he makes up to R150 a day.

The “businessman” even erected his own “Chapmans Peak toll plaza” by stacking bricks outside his home and using a long pole as a boom.

“The board may say R20 but I take any amount and if people don’t want to give anything, I just let them through,” he admits.

And he gave Muslims a freebie on Eid.

“(Wednesday) toe laat ek ’n klomp labarang mense deur kom. They didn’t want to sit in the traffic,” he says.

At 12.30 yesterday afternoon, traffic was bumper to bumper outside Ralph’s home.

At least three motorists stopped at Ralph’s toll gate but backed off when they mistook the Daily Voice team for police.

Asked if he thought his business was legal, Ralph said: “It must be, it’s not like I am stealing from anyone. Even the police pass through here and they pay. They know I’m only doing this for a candle and a loaf of bread.”

But the City’s JP Smith says Ralph’s operation can’t be legal because it is based on motorists breaking the law.

“It is illegal for anyone to veer off the road to drive on the field or the shoulder of the road unless it’s an emergency,” he says.

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