Day 160: Forget Boarding School’s “Lights Out” …

Yesterday morning I woke up to many messages saying happy Spring or something to that effect. I am a stickler about the true start of Spring in the Southern Hemisphere, purely because the Equinox is on my birthday.

I then saw the news that Eskom was once again implementing load shedding. My flowery thoughts did a three-sixty. New season, new loadshedding

Normally, I take the ineptitude of the national electricity supplier with a pinch of salt, but I can’t keep quiet any longer. Yes, I know I’m a little voice drowned up by millions of others screaming about corruption, gender-based violence, unemployment, and the like, but for the love of God, Eskom, what the hell  is wrong with you – upping the ante with a few hours’ notice from stage 2 to stage 4? One article I saw said, Eskom moves to Stage 4 loadshedding at 15h00 – check your area and plan your week.

That is what set this rant off. I am so riled up right now, I might just spontaneously combust… at least I won’t have to worry about food or warmth then.

Have any of your executives actually ventured outside in the past few days? Some places have had sub-zero temperatures; people all over are suffering with ailments exacerbated by the cold, and you are only adding the burden!

What about the businesses that have only just been able to resume operations? You’re not exactly helping them stay open if you shut off their power supply! What about the parents who must prepare a meal for their children, or bathe them during evening hours when you’ve decided it’s their area’s turn to be plunged into darkness? It reminds me of my years at boarding school when the corridor prefect yelled, “Light’s out!” – you either flipped the switch immediately or faced punishment of some kind.

Why must my fellow citizens and I plan our schedules around Eskom’s inability to do its fucking job? Why must we pay for a service that we are unable to use? I think Eskom is the only company that has you pay for a service and then begs you not to use it. What’s worse, is that tariffs are hiked, which we have no choice but to pay, only to receive even less service. It is a goddamn joke!

How is it possible that in twenty-six years of the current government, you have been unable to maintain the infrastructure that was working perfectly fine when you got it in 1994? Oh yes, sorry, I forgot – ridiculous performance bonusses for some of your staff; I ask you what performance? To me, it appears that the people in charge couldn’t perform their way out of a wet paper bag if their lives depended on it!

While I don’t agree with the way things have been dealt with over almost three decades with the current government at the helm, I do think that the recent decision to have officials within the governing party who have been charged with corruption step aside from their official posts is a step in the right direction. It’s high time that dishonest bureaucrats within the ruling party get their just desserts. Here’s hoping that the net is spread wider to include executives of government parastatals too. These people should be held accountable for the money they steal from state coffers faster than the taxpayers can fund them.

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