Dirk Lotriet
2 minute read
20 Apr 2018
9:15 am

Eskom is leaving us in the dark

Dirk Lotriet

Does Eskom expect us, the public, to fund their corruption and their capture? It certainly looks like it.

Picture: iStock

The lovely Snapdragon was in a foul mood when she came home on Wednesday night.

Probably because we had yet another power outage in our often dark part of Roodepoort. “You’re just a man, and all men are dogs,” she growled after she parked her broom in the laundry room.

For a second I wanted to point out that dogs are the most loyal companions humans can have if you treat them right, but I decided against it.

Sometimes it’s the safest option to take what the charming Snapdragon says with a grain of salt. I take the things she says with a grain of salt so often that I have chronic high blood pressure.

“When do you expect Eskom to give us reliable, dependable power?” Snapdragon asked after she calmed down with a cup of tea, which I was able to make thanks to our gas stove.

“I don’t know,” I answered. Which is the truth.

You need just look at parliament’s Eskom inquiry to realise this must certainly be the most captured entity in South Africa – not because the other SOEs are squeaky clean, but because the power utility is rotten to the core.

Low coal supply at power stations, irregular payments to Trillian, evidence of Gupta hands to be seen all over the power utility’s activities and general mismanagement and corruption.

This while Eskom applied to the National Energy Regulator for a 30% electricity price increase to to try and recover R66 billion for over-expenditure and low sales.

Do I smell a rat? Does Eskom expect us, the public, to fund their corruption and their capture? It certainly looks like it.

Yes, we have to pay for the electricity we use. But we cannot be expected to fund the entity’s friendship with the Guptas.

The residents of Gauteng put their foot down with a campaign of public disobedience against e-tolls and sank what amounted to an unfair tax. It is time to do the same with Eskom.

And if it results in the death of Eskom, so be it.

We will get used to candle-lit dinners, I told Snapdragon. It is romantic, after all.

As can be expected, she argued again. “We won’t have any idea whether we have romantic candle-lit dinners or just normal dinners by candlelight because the power is off again,” she said.

She has a point.

Dirk Lotriet. Picture: Alaister Russell

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