Danger lurks in our nation’s parks

2014-11-30 17:00

Our three most important parks – Megawatt Park, which houses Eskom, Auckland Park, which houses the SABC, and Airways Park in Kempton Park – represent an impending danger to our society.

With the recent rolling blackouts, there is fire at Megawatt Park.

Of course, two silos are said to have collapsed and about R43?million paid to the Gupta-owned New Age newspaper for publicity.

The New Age has a “partnership” with the SABC for a breakfast show. It is difficult to know exactly what Megawatt Park intended to publicise with this amount of money.

A friend joked that Megawatt Park might have paid the R43?million to possibly publicise the failed silos and the blackouts.

He said “whether these blackouts will be publicised remains to be seen because SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng and newspaper owner Atul Gupta are the disciples of telling a good story – with zero tolerance for anything that is not positive”.

Auckland Park might try to provide a positive spin and say that Megawatt Park is giving citizens a chance to have dinner by candlelight.

Imagine tourists landing in Kempton Park to a dark city – only if they land successfully, given the wars at Airways Park where our national carrier is struggling to make ends meet. Not only is SAA struggling, it’s facing similar boardroom battles to the SABC’s.

Both are spooked by someone who claims to have a qualification they don’t have, or by someone linked to the political establishment.

Motsoeneng does not have a matric, but wields much power and SABC board chairperson Ellen Tshabalala has failed to deliver the qualifications she claims she has.

SAA is faced with deep financial troubles and has been declared not to be an ongoing concern. There’s infighting on the board and between its chairperson, Dudu Myeni, and suspended CEO Mnwabisi Kalawe.

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has tried to resolve the row, but nothing has come of it.

New acting CEO Nico Bezuidenhout has been reported not to have the qualifications he is said to have and as shown in two successive annual reports.

So there’s a beautiful drama unfolding at our nation’s parks where, with no qualifications, you can deliver darkness, ground planes and provide sunshine to listeners.

Imagine if, because of Megawatt Park’s incompetence, the country has a total blackout, then landing and flying aircraft at night would be as much of a challenge as watching Motsoeneng’s good stories on TV.

Seshoka is executive director for corporate relations at the University of KwaZulu-Natal

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