Stupid idea

Bertil Bjarlestam, Strand

I read with great interest the letter ”Cry the beloved bank balance”. Bolander letters, January 17). But what a stupid idea to introduce two price levels on everything, one for overseas tourists and one for South Africans.

It reminds me of the 1980s when I travelled in communist China for business. They had three price levels: one low for locals, one medium for Hong Kong Chinese, and one high for Westerners.

This resulted in immense queues in front of each ticket office, since the ticket salesman had to check the identity of each customer before he could decide the price.

Of course our time was to expensive, to stand in these long queues, so my colleague from Hong Kong set in a shoulder tackle (rugby style) on the person closest to the sales office and could thereby bypass everybody.

This caused a lot of commotion, but when people heard that we were paying a much higher price they accepted the fact.

At one time we were taking the train from Guangchu to Hong Kong. But at the ticket office they told us that all train tickets were sold out. but that we could buy them on the platform.

A “smart businesman” had bought all the train tickets at the low local price, and was selling them at black market prices. We just had to accept his price and got no receipt.

So please, do not introduce two price system. The more overseas tourists that come here, the higher the demand to buy rands, and the stronger it will get, and that will benefit all South Africans.

I am now paying 28 percent more in Swedish kronor for my rand, than what I did a year ago.