Gift an article

Mondli Makhanya | Sound of the African hum

accreditation
Share your Subscriber Article
You have 5 articles to share every month. Send this story to a friend!
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
loading...
Loading, please wait...
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Loashedding. Photo: Jacques Kloppers/Galloimages
Loashedding. Photo: Jacques Kloppers/Galloimages

VOICES

This refers to the sound of generators that descends on the continent’s major cities at nightfall. This product of the collapse of power generation and distribution has become emblematic of the dysfunction of the state in Africa. Together with the practice of African leaders seeking medical help abroad and shunning local educational institutions in favour of foreign tuition for their children, the resort to generators is a sign of societies giving up on their countries. Loosely speaking, the African hum is a major marker on the road to a failed state.

The question of whether we are on our way to state failure has been very much on the lips of South Africans in the past few years, as the centre appeared not to hold. Of late, this fear has been heightened by record-breaking bouts of load shedding. The rise in anger and frustration has been palpable. Nothing captures the general mood of despair better than the resentment towards Eskom and those who run it from the administrative to the political level.

Read this for free
Get 14 days free to read all our investigative and in-depth journalism. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed.
Try FREE for 14 days
Already a subscriber? Sign in
2022 Fifa Qatar World Cup
DAYS
HRS
MINS
MORE WORLD CUP NEWS
Latest issue
Latest issue
All the news from City Press in PDF form.
Read now
Voting Booth
As we are commemorating the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children, which started on November 25, crime against women continues to be worryingly high with over 13 000 women assaulted between July and September 2022, while over 10 000 rape cases were opened in the same period. Is government doing enough to curb GBV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, it’s trying
7% - 6 votes
No, it's failing women and children
76% - 70 votes
I'm too discouraged to care
17% - 16 votes
Vote