Unless the ANC musters the political will to implement workable policies, SA is doomed, writes Tom Morgan.
The first step for alcoholics who want to take charge of their lives is to declare: “I am an alcoholic.”
In doing so, the declarer recognises that they are responsible for their actions.
When are we going to hear the ANC declare that the inaction of its MPs and its lack of workable policies are responsible for the blackouts?
It is not just Eskom that is floundering; many other state-owned enterprises – including national carrier SAA – are in the doldrums because of greed, self-enrichment, theft, incompetence and a good dose of lying by a government that has ruled for more than 25 years.
Eskom has filled many columns, but writers shy away from the cause of the blackouts.
The first cause was the policy that prioritised RDP housing.
It should have been a win-win situation, but instead, we soon witnessed a range of poor houses in disrepair – and politicians who were awarded building contracts going off with all the money, having had no intention of fulfilling their contract.
What was not prioritised was the infrastructure that went with housing – namely, lighting and power, sanitation and reticulation, and access roads leading in and out of project areas.
It is clear that none of the politicians or civil servants understood that a change in living conditions required holistic planning.
Most planned infrastructure projects of the pre-1995 era were cancelled.
Dams were not built and water engineers were “retired” or retrenched. Water is an essential part of power generation at power stations.
Plans such as the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) were ideal for a country that does not have a grid, in the true sense.
South Africa’s power is still being switched on and off locally, and municipalities or metropoles own parts of the electrical infrastructure.
THE FIRST CAUSE OF BLACKOUTS
Does the public know that there was a better project on the cards?
The China-driven supercoal generation plant was offered to our politicians.
But this prompted them to hatch a plot based on greed, self-enrichment and ignorance.
Chancellor House, the ANC’s investment company, would benefit the party to the tune of millions if South Africa acted as a guinea pig for an untested design.
And, to make the bribe bigger, the ANC went for two designs.
Of course, the public places the blame squarely, but not fairly, on “the apartheid colonial governments”, even after 25 years of the ANC government twiddling its thumbs.
This is the ANC’s best excuse because it appeals to basic prejudice regarding a disgusting social system.
To make matters worse, none of the party’s supporters questions anything further.
THE SECOND CAUSE OF BLACKOUTS
The 1990s marked the first time many people were supposed to transfer payment for municipal services, such as electricity, to local governments.
But this did not happen in Soweto.
Various attempts by City Power to change this were met with rioting and vandalism by some residents, and silence from the ANC.
Sitting back and saying nothing has been the ANC government’s pattern, especially if the party thinks that commenting or taking action will lose it votes.
Currently, half of the money owed to Eskom takes the form of free electricity, which continues to be stolen through nonpayment by some Soweto residents.
THE THIRD CAUSE OF BLACKOUTS
While the revelation of a R650 million prepayment given by Eskom to Gupta company Tegeta Exploration to buy a mine is now well documented, several other huge systematic thefts from Eskom are in the public domain.
Yet, there have been no prosecutions or attempts to recover the money.
Of course, no one has tried to get back the money held in Dubai, and no one seems to know where the other missing billions have gone.
The assessment is that the tipping point has been reached. South Africa will be like all of its neighbours buckling under power failures: Zambia, Malawi, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
When will your newspaper ask the leaders of the ANC if they take responsibility?
The cartoon in last week’s edition (January 12 2020), showing the ANC birthday bash taking place in a marquee at the bottom of the Big Hole in Kimberley, was spot-on.
Please ask the political alcoholics for a declaration; maybe then we will be allowed to produce renewable energy in South Africa.
We cannot afford any more lobbying in Parliament, or for the masses to continue to vote for the destruction of our country.
Politicians are supposed to manage the country by advancing workable policies.
It is clear that by the end of the current administration’s tenure, most people will know that a joke can become a reality.
What came after electricity? Candles. Maybe they will even be the new currency.
Morgan is a citizen, disadvantaged by the ANC
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