For Mboweni's growth plan to succeed the ANC has to give up certain dogmatic positions that were formulated when 7% growth was the status quo, writes Adriaan Basson.
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The anxiety that I now experience when entering a lift is almost not worth the laziness of not using the stairs, writes Howard Feldman.
At 21:00 last night, in the middle of yet another power
outage, I caught sight of myself precariously balanced off our neighbour's
jungle-gym. It wasn't pretty or flattering but it mattered nought as I was in
search of a cell phone signal and would stop at nothing to find one. It was at
that moment when I realised just how demeaning this load shedding business can
It would transpire that at the highest wrung of the slide's
ladder just to the left (if I stretched out a bit), that I would find a 3G signal!
So long as I could hold that position, there was more than a strong possibility
that some of my Whatsapps might even be delivered. And if the recipient too was
hanging from his proverbial ladder, then there was even a chance that I would
get a message in return.
Better still, and not meaning to show off or to brag, but
because of careful planning, my cell phone battery was hovering over 86% which
meant that even if the electricity didn't return until the next day, I would
have sufficient "juice" to have a conversation, to check and update
Twitter and still have enough left over to power the alarm to wake me in the
READ: Find your load shedding schedule
It would transpire that that would not be necessary. Because
the very moment that I fell asleep was when Eskom decided to switch the power
back on. The scream of the static on the TV as DSTV rebooted would do the trick
and instantaneously raise us from our slumber. The sudden noise would send so
strong a surge of adrenalin through our systems that it would render any form
of sleep impossible for at least the next 48 hours.
And this is not to mention the fact that every light in the
house also now inexplicably turned themselves on, just to show that they too now
had power. These included lights that we had not used earlier and even ones that
needed the globes changed. I kid you not.
It was a modern day miracle.
Eskom has reduced me to a nervous wreck. The anxiety that I
now experience when entering a lift is almost not worth the laziness of not
using the stairs. Yesterday, as I left the gym, I found myself mentally listing
all the items I had in my bag in case we were to get stuck between the gym and
It so happened that I had a banana, a change of clothes,
enough hygiene products to last a week, and even a novel that a friend had lent
me. I even had my computer with me. I was almost disappointed when the doors
opened signalling that we had reached the garage at level -1.
A few hours in that lift could have been just the getaway
that I desperately needed.
The negative impact of load shedding cannot be overstated.
Aside from the tangible economic loss, the damage that it does to the psyche of
South Africans is major. The uncertainty of not knowing when the electricity
will be turned off and the inconvenience of not knowing when it will return
play havoc of our mood and morale. It alters our behaviour and it robs us of
In the scheme of things, a few hours per day might not seem
like a lot, but the effect endures way beyond that time.
ALSO READ: Eskom and the multi-billion rand mega projects that could've saved SA
There is a lot of speculation around the story. The fact
that the "constraints" on the system began on Sunday, three days after
President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement about splitting the power utility, the
fact that load shedding is alleged to have been used in the past to manufacture
a crisis and to propel the country towards a Russian nuclear deal, need to be
Of course, it might simply be about an inefficient and lazy
organisation, but it also might be about a battle between the old order that
feasted at the banquet of corruption and the new order that hopes to eliminate
All we can do is watch the events evolve, vote correctly, and
of course keep our cell phones charged.
- Howard Feldman is a keynote speaker and analyst. He is the author of two books and is the morning talk show host on ChaiFM.Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.
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