Eskom, get your house in or­der

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - OPINION -

THIS week, South Africans united – in misery – as Eskom im­ple­mented its ar­bi­trary and of­ten in­ex­pli­ca­ble load shed­ding sched­ule.

Those who were used to hav­ing elec­tric­ity in their homes un­der­stood yet again what it is like to only have can­dles for light and paraf­fin or gas stoves to cook on.

But this was not the cold win­ter of 2007/8.

The coal was not wet – when we were told then why South Africa would en­dure rolling power cuts.

Iron­i­cally, this week, most of the coun­try swel­tered un­der a heat wave.

To make mat­ters worse, there are re­ports that there is more than enough coal of the req­ui­site stan­dard but that it is Eskom’s pro­cure­ment prac­tices that have pre­cip­i­tated this cri­sis.

Al­ter­na­tively, it could be the sched­uled main­te­nance shut­down of too many power plants.

We don’t know what the truth is amid the spin and the coun­ter­spin of what is not just a na­tional dis­grace, but the har­bin­ger of an­other eco­nomic cri­sis we can ill af­ford.

In the midst of this, we have Eskom board chair­per­son Jabu Mabuza this week be­hav­ing like Marie An­toinette, telling us that the cri­sis is all of South Africa’s re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“This is a prob­lem,” he said, “that we all have caused.”

No, sir, it is not.

Eskom is the poster child of state cap­ture, de­lib­er­ately mis­man­aged to crim­i­nally ex­tract bil­lions which had been bud­geted to pre­vent the cur­rent cri­sis to di­vert them into the pock­ets of a po­lit­i­cal elite whose greed spread across other sta­te­owned en­ter­prises and then ex­tended to emas­cu­lat­ing the very state or­gans that could have held them to ac­count.

If we are re­spon­si­ble, as you sug­gest, it is that we did not rise up in rev­o­lu­tion against them.

Surely that’s not what you in­tended?

Fix the power sup­ply now – other­wise you might well see your wish re­alised come May.

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