André de Ruyter can push my Eskom buttons. I’ll forgive the man cutting my power the second I must join a powerful Zoom meeting.
I’ll even forgive him the heart-stopping moments just before my near-dead phone gets hooked up to a battery in the darkness to keep the work lifeline going – because he is doing these “little inconveniences” while rebuilding an ageing infrastructure nobody cared about for aeons.
And he does care, because he’s getting paid millions for it and he’s a businessman.
But Mbaks … Much a-Twitter about nothing. He gets millions, too, but let’s call a loco a loco: he is a cheapskate.
Prasa is using 5000 volunteers to secure dilapidated train stations for nothing. Nada. Masterstroke: Mbaks doesn’t pay, gets volunteers he issues whatever fake papers to and *fanfare* Prasa lives… Well, forgive me for bringing her up again, Mr Cheapskate.
Meet Diketso Mpala; now a humble helper; years ago a woman with high heels strutting her stuff on your cement platforms up to at least a manager in a factory.
But your people failed her. She one day got off the train and not even the railway police – then armed and dangerous – could protect her from a jealous husband stabbing her repeatedly in the back on a train platform.
She had to learn to walk again; lost her job; future dimmed. She still has a gammy foot. She still just “falls over” – all because of spinal damage on your cement platform – not that you even have the cement slabs nowadays… And don’t tell me “not my problem; apartheid years”.
Your problem, solidly, like cement. For Diketso and me? We want to travel your trains safely. We want to get on at Denver station and get off at Braamfontein to get Fienie’s antiretroviral medication.
We want to visit our Moria church hill without paying exorbitant prices for a bus. Oops. No train tracks. Only blood on the tracks.
So know this: neither me, nor Diketso are putting our trust in some volunteer who must fight off a knifer with a beer bottle.
Think again. I always thought Mbaks was much too cute a name for you. Can we just stick to cheapskate?
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