Permanent load-shedding, Eskom’s demand for an 18,65% tariff increase and the total absence of any coherent plan to remedy the electricity supply crisis constitute a hydra-headed threat far worse than the so-called Covid pandemic.
It is surprising that opposition parties and media commentators have not recognised that reality. The reasons are obvious: without a reliable electricity supply, the economy suffers, jobs are lost, and businesses close down. Every aspect of life is negatively affected. Tourism and international investment are deterred. Skills are lost as immigration increases because the younger generation sees no future here.
During the initial phase of the Covid “crisis,” from which 99% of the infected survived, draconian measures were deployed. Police patrolled beaches preventing bathing and surfing. The sale of cigarettes and alcohol was banned. Shops were required to permit only limited numbers of customers within the store at a time.
Although those measures had no scientific basis and were absolutely unnecessary, they stand in stark contrast to the Micawber-like stance of the Ramaphosa regime to the Eskom crisis.
The roots of Eskom’s crisis are well known: criminal syndicates are managing coal and diesel supplies while within Eskom blatant fraud is occurring in the generation of payments. If the Ramaphosa regime could mount a Covid surveillance campaign, then it should respond to Eskom’s criminal sabotage in a decisive fashion.
If the ANC put aside its racist ideology, which is very much the cause of Eskom’s plight, there are many security firms in the private sector that could provide secure policing of the transporting and loading of coal and diesel supplies. There are professionals who could root out the white-collar criminals within Eskom. And there is engineering expertise that can improve the power output.
Within the broad South African historical context, the complicity of the ANC and its cadres in the systematic implosion of Eskom and the impending catastrophe that heralds, poses the question: what good is it to have gained the country by toppling apartheid but then destroying the economy? (With acknowledgement to Mark’s gospel 8:37).