Howard Feldman

OPINION | Load shedding: The horror movie villain who continues to rise from the dead

2019-12-10 11:56
The president should tell the nation exactly what is happening at Eskom, says the writer. (iStock)

The president should tell the nation exactly what is happening at Eskom, says the writer. (iStock)

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This is the villain that leaps out of the bath in a rage when you thought that he was dead. This is a toddler throwing a tantrum because he doesn't like what is happening. This is Eskom se last push, writes Howard Feldman

You know those predictable action horror movies, where after the final confrontation with the evil villain, he finally lies beaten and unmoving?

The viewer and the hero breathe a sigh of relief, thinking that finally it's all over, only to be shocked by the sudden movement, rise and aggression of the anti-hero.

It never lasts for more than a second or two before he is finally permanently stopped. But no cheesy movie is complete without this scene.

Meet Eskom 2019.

SAA has gone into business rescue. Prasa is under administration. Sars and the Hawks and the NPA have been recaptured.

Even Home Affairs has cancelled the outrageous visa business.

It is really only the Public Protector and Eskom who remain on the outside looking in.

It should be no surprise that South Africa is experiencing unprecedented load shedding.

Monday early evening Eskom announced that the country would move to stage 6.

Perplexing in that even the most aggressive and deadly of cancers are only classified to stage 4.

Stage 4 was perplexing enough in that it is mid-summer, meaning it gets dark later.

Most of the country is cooler than usual, meaning that fewer air conditioners are being used.

It is also December, meaning industry has slowed down.

In short, this means that less power will has been consumed than at other times.

The important and obvious factor is that stage 4 load-shedding began one day after SAA was placed into business rescue. Stage 6 began a day after Prasa was put under administration.

When did we face our last bout with Eskom?

The day after it was announced in Parliament that Eskom should be broken up.

This is not about wet coal. It is not about spontaneous breakdowns. This is Eskom going to war with Ramaphosa's ANC. And consequently, going to war with the people of the country.

This is the villain that leaps out of the bath in a rage when you thought that he was dead. This is a toddler throwing a tantrum because he doesn't like what is happening.

This is Eskom se last push.

It is also the moment that will define Ramaphosa's presidency.

Cyril Ramaphosa's success in many ways has been due to his patience.

He has played the long game magnificently and, in many ways has succeeded. Never one to act quickly, the most recent move by Eskom will not be easy for him, given his style.

But decisive action is needed and should he not move quickly, he and the country will pay the price.

I believe that Ramaphosa needs to do the following:

  • Tell his nation what is really going on at Eskom
  • Take control of the public utility by any means available to him
  • Bring in the army if necessary
  • Deregulate the industry
  • Allow and encourage competition
  • Focus on sustainable energy in the form of solar and wind generated power

By declaring stage 6 load shedding, Eskom has declared war on the country. But like the anti-hero in our horror movie, they will be unable to outlast the forces of good.

By declaring stage 6 load shedding, Eskom has risen from the "dead" in an act of final rage.

It's time to make sure that they never torment us again.

- Howard Feldman is a keynote speaker and analyst. He is the author of three 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.



Read more on:    eskom  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  load shedding
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