UNUNDERSTANDING THE INEXPLICABLES
The year 2013 was an extremely rough one under general for everybody. We experienced a lot of hardships that could not go unnoticed and to some it meant sleeping on empty stomachs whereas some had to tighten up their belts. The petrol price rocketed like it was a hijacked Boeing. Food prices increased tenfold, and everything transported by petrol went up. Unemployment rate competed up there in the sky with Himalayas. Electricity is now unaffordable not only to the pensioners and the unemployed only but even to the working class and the elites also complain openly.
It came to me as a surprise when Eskom financial sheets were released to the public and wow, I was dismayed by millions of Rands as incentive bonuses for the bosses; hear me well, for the bosses only. Here we are talking about many millions paid to one sector of people, company bigwigs whilst the nation is suffering, due to unbelievable high inflation. Who declares incentive bonuses to these bosses? Is this not greed, gluttony and avarice? What about the workers, who to me are the real profit making machines, hands-on? I mean a company boss can be away from his office for a considerable amount of time with little influence on production and revenue, but if the workers themselves are not at their posts for a short time, the company cannot make money, the same as mining sector like Marikana, so who is actually important here? Then why only the bosses must get everything? Education is not everything, for example a graduate from university, has only theory and he still has to be taught how to make money by these known, the not-so- important workers. A few months ago, I read about Eskom asking for subsidy from the Government, citing their reason for that as to protect the end users because if they don’t get it, then people will have to foot high prices, escalated bills. Some years back, you would find in a factory a person who records how other employees worked according to their clock times, being paid high salary more than the workers themselves, the money makers who if they don’t come to work, the record recorder won’t get paid. Fortunately this has turned upside down. We are talking about clerks.
Vodacom and other cell phone service providers were at loggerheads with ICASA about reduction of call charges. What worries me more here is that airtime is not like electricity which is being produced by burning coal using boilers involving hard labour etc. which all these involve physical process. But when you buy airtime they just print numbers in a certain secret sequence and give them to you. There is no visible labour to produce the numbers so why should it be so expensive? What about where you buy that online like from your computer? Are we buying the air or time? Who owns them? Please explain to me what does it take to get numbers on the paper and charge me exorbitant amount for it? One of my friends told me the money is for the maintenance of distributing towers. I would understand this in case of Telkom which uses pole to pole with wire interconnections; all of which needs maintenance and replacement sometime, but cellphone have one tower serving a bigger community! The air belongs to us all, it is a gift from God, it is free! I won’t be surprised if one day a new vendor start is born, the one selling breathing air to us. The one who’ll claim that as long as you are breathing you owe him, you need to pay for the service.
And why do I say this is because even municipality sells land to us at very high prices. I was shocked one day when travelling around Midrand, to see a board; ‘Stands available from R545 000’. A bare land where you are still expected to put a structure onto it. This is absolutely a way of stifling the have-nots, who might be the real profit making machines, oppressed in the factory because they don’t have school papers but they are producing high quality products which the factories are proud of, the factories that are run by the haves with school papers but who are not direct part of production hence the not-so- important workers, not essential who are actually the thieves, stealing the hard earned money from the real profit making machines. Remember or take note that all the miners who work kilometres deep inside the belly of this earth and are forever exposed to dangers and sometime facing death, they are the real profit making machines working for the bosses in their posh offices with air conditioners, these are the thieves who are going to steal that money once the workers deliver it on the table. Doesn’t this feels like robbery? Someone actually municipality, still has to prove to me that, that piece of land is his, I won’t believe this until he produces receipts for the purchase and where he bought that from. This means that as from today, municipality has to produce receipts of his purchase of land he claims to be his. My believe is this; like in the rural arrears you only apply for a stand as community member and only pay for the papers which means you pay for a certificate and the procession of it, that is all.
N.B. A proof that cellphone airtime should be free lies in what MTN is doing right now; you buy airtime for R6 and they give you one for R120, is this a kind of subsidy? Food prices are very high we call upon municipality to subsidise us on the groceries we buy because it is through this process that we provide work for him and his employees. Maybe this will be an incentive for us to produce even more and keep him happier!!
By: Modiba Kadi