Credit where it’s due: Well done Eskom

As much as it shouldn’t be, having constant electricity is a win for South Africa.

What a strategy – make electricity so expensive that you sell less of it so you have more of it. I jest.

Yes, it may be getting pricier but it’s also far more available now than most of the time in the last couple of years. On the level of paying for it, sure it sucks. There’s no way around that. Maybe in time, it will become cheap again. That seems unlikely, but we also thought it was unlikely that load shedding could be curbed so quickly…and without burning the world’s diesel supply.

Turns out we could, and we did. Even better, as a result, Bank of America chimed in and believes we can have 2% GDP growth if we can keep it up. Somewhat surprisingly, I actually have confidence that we can keep it up. Don’t ask me why. Maybe I’m hopeful. Maybe I just like my GDP like I like my milk. Whatever it is, it just feels like we’re finding the right direction. 

ALSO READ: SA marks 100 days without load shedding, but ‘risk still exists’

We don’t really know how our phones work. We just know that when they’re on and doing things, they’re working. That’s all the evidence we need to confirm that they’re working even though we have no idea what electronic witchcraft is going on inside them.

Similarly, we have no idea how matters of state work but we can know when they’re working even if we don’t know how. We know this when we see roads built, schools functioning and public hospitals that have both nurses and a healthy stock of band-aids. Increasingly it’s been a rare combination.

So, we need to take the wins that we can get and as much as it shouldn’t be, having constant electricity is a win in our environment.

It does appear to be something worthy of applause. It also begs the question: how awesome of a situation could we have been in had we had this team come in at a time when we had consistent electricity? What more can we ask of them? What next?

Once we’ve solved load shedding, it’s not like there aren’t other problems. If solving just this one problem launches our GDP growth over 1%, imagine how great we’d be if we solved other problems; the crime that curbs tourism, the corruption that curbs development, the lack of education that curbs entrepreneurship, the lack of opportunity that curbs making use of good talents.

ALSO READ: Eskom scores reprieve in reducing more load shedding

South Africa has so much potential and the fixing of Eskom is but a small illustration of it. As tempting as it is to throw our hands up and say we shouldn’t glorify things that we should have as a matter of course; constant electricity being one of them…it’s not the same as glorifying those who put in the hard and dedicated work to re-establish the things we get as a matter of course.

The people fixing Eskom deserve all our praise and then some. It could inspire those who are able to fix the other things that need fixing, and we’re not short of those. Don’t be shy to lay your complaints at the feet of those who stuffed up. At the same time, let’s acknowledge those who are undoing the stuff ups.

Better we sit in a space where we have our electricity back than no electricity at all. There are people who are responsible for us being in this favourable position. It may not be more favourable than what could have been had we not stuffed the power stations up but hey, guess what… we did.

While the rest of us sit around moaning about it, somebody has to step up and fix it and we should be glad that somebody did.

ALSO READ: Joburg mayor Gwamanda says R200 electricity surcharge introduced in interest of fairness

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