So here I was thinking I was one of the clever blacks, having planned ahead as I did for the long month of January: School uniform – ticked; stationery – ticked; petrol money – ticked; food – ticked; December allowance – ticked. I was so ready for January.
I always make sure that everything is in place for this gruesome month, which seems to go on forever. With most of us having received our salaries in mid-December, and having bought the necessities and put aside the little left over for this month – stretching it as much as possible – the last thing we wanted was to see our plans disrupted.
I’ll bet most of us did not budget on Eskom disrupting our plans, forcing us to dig deep into our already depleted pockets. Does Eskom, or its punctual “switch guy”, know the pain that we feel during rolling blackouts? I doubt it.
Thanks to the power utility, I was forced to spend the little money I had in reserve to buy food against my will.
It happened on Tuesday when I was about to cook dinner after returning from work. That’s when I found myself without electricity. On my way home, I had told the kids to boil water so that I could cook when I got there. Imagine my shock when entering the front door that there was no gas. My kids were unaware that there was no electricity because, when they left the house to open the gate for me, the TV was on.
So there I stood, frustrated as hell, because the water was ready and I had been intent on quickly putting pots on the stove. What really irked me was having to make plans to ensure that we wouldn’t go to bed hungry.
It dawned on me that I had no choice but to go out for dinner – an unplanned one. The kids were excited to be going out, not noticing my anger over having to fork out money I didn’t have for a dinner date I had not budgeted for.
I ask myself if there is any recourse, because we cannot continue operating like this. While our leaders are busy accusing one another of lying or misleading them, they must think of the rest of us, sitting in the dark with no money. Imagine if I’d had nothing in reserve: my kids would have either gone to bed hungry or I would have had to wait until after 10pm to start cooking.
Either way, it is not ayoba. I also missed an important PSL match – particularly Pitso Mosimane’s post-match comments after Mamelodi Sundowns dropped two points at home to Bidvest Wits, and the hat-trick scored by Gabadinho Mhango against Polokwane City during Orlando Pirates’ 4-1 thrashing of City.
To make matters worse, by the time the power was reinstated, Manchester United were trailing Manchester City. Being a United supporter, I was even more incensed.
Thanks, Eskom, for keeping us in the dark and forcing us to spend unnecessarily.