Wdf? Eskom Idiocy

Yesterday I spoke of the possibility of a move to New Zealand. Obviously this isn’t something that has just popped up out of the blue, however, since the discussion between myself, family members and my beloved wife, my observation of the errors of this country have become increasingly more detailed. One, of course, understands that one must not belittle the country of their birth in order to make a distant shore more inviting, and one should observe with cold logic and analysis.

And pigs fly too.

One of the greatest issues in this country recently has been the power crisis perpetuated by our embattled and poorly run government provider Eskom. They’ve asked for a 53% increase in the price of power while shutting power off for two to four hours daily in a rotational basis, so that everyone gets to enjoy the dark nights, or fruitless days.

Of course, when the blame game comes into question, the first fingers and salvos are pointed and launched at the “Apartheid Regime”. That seems to have become sucha  knee-jerk reaction for South African Governament institutions and ministers. Further, when the question of performance bonuses being paid to the Eskom board members was queried, the minister in charge, Alec Erwin, said that there were no grounds for not paying the bonuses. After all, Eskom is performing financially well.

Forget the fact that Eskom is costing the country millions, if not billions, of Rands in economic growth and prosperity, they continue blithely on shutting power off here, power off there, and then – they blew up a transformer. Unsurprisingly, the transformers are not designed to have power shut off from them and then switched back on with such rigid consistency. One blew up in Walmer in Port Elizabeth, and residents and businesses, including an old age home, were without power for five days. Then one blew up in Kempton Park in Johannesburg. A few weeks later Eskom released a statement waffling on about how consumers had decreased their consumption of electricity to the point that they could temporarily discontinue load shedding.

The rest of the country pretty much acknowledged that with a rueful grin.

Then today I get a chance to browse through the google news, and come across this article by The Times. Well if that isn’t enough to just piss the hell out of someone. Not only have Eskom decreased the amount of electricity they import into the country, but they’ve increased the amount of power that they export from the country to our “neighbours” and they sell that exported power at less than they sell if to the people of their own nation. Typical.

Deep down, in that coldly rational part of my mind I realize that there may be good reason for this, perhaps it has something to do with supply and demand, quantaties purchased, old legislation that has not yet been corrected, or a plethora of other reasonable issues. One cannot, however, help but feel indignant and livid at the fact that Eskom exports power at a quarter of the price that I pay for it, that when my wife is home alone, in complete darkness, in a country with ludicrously high rape and murder statistics, they’re offering power to our “neighbours”.

I would love to see Alec Irwins inane response to this one.

I do not run the country, I have no experience running the country, I have no experience running a massive business either, so my suggestions, or beliefs in how this should be handled, are probably woefully incompetent – but no less so, I beleive, than the current board of directors that controls Eskom.

Step one – fire the board of directors at Eskom, and issue written warnings to all senior managers for the poor performance of Eskom over the last financial year. Eskom is failing to provide the basics of their purpose, power to the people.

Step two – discontinue supply of export electricity with immediete effect until such a time that power provision in South Africa has stablized and is secured for continued economic growth over the next decade or more, at the very least.

Step three – increas electricity imports to meet demand as required.

Step four – decrease the cost per kilowatt hour to half of what it currently is, and increase the cost of future exported electricity to thrice what it currently is, thereby exporting at a higher cost than internal usage.

Step five – stop the collective screwing of the South African consumer that seems to be so popular with this populist government.

Crisis! I’m tired of these people.

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