I hear you want to increase the price of electricity by seventeen percent. Is that all? Why the restraint? I’m sure you are familiar with the expression, “Go big or go home.” Don’t hold back, my friend. You should be asking for eighty percent. In this country, greed is rewarded.
The counter-revolutionary press says that even a seventeen percent increase would be a “major blow” to the country. If there is one thing this country needs right now, it is a major blow. When President Zuma recently played musical chairs with the finance ministry, causing world markets to bludgeon the rand into submission, we thought that was a major blow. It wasn’t. It was nothing more than a bitch slap. It didn’t come close to bringing us to our senses.
The Illuminati-controlled media are, of course, once again exaggerating wildly. All you’re trying to do is make a bit of money, for God’s sake. We’re all capitalists, here. Everyone’s battling to squeeze a buck out of something or someone. In your case, you’re trying to squeeze R23-billion out of us. More power to you, I say, even if it does mean less to us. There’s a joke in there somewhere. I might already have made it. Hard to tell any more.
Let me see if I understand this correctly. You have suffered a massive shortfall in revenue largely as a result of us using less electricity, which we only did because you asked us to. So we are to be punished for being conscientious, patriotic citizens. We are idiots for listening to you in the first place. We deserve to be punished.
There’s a term being used by the anti-Eskomites. They say you are trying to “claw back” money you have already spent. I like it. Claw back. It evokes images of vampires and werewolves ripping and tearing at something too scared and helpless to run for cover.
Seventeen percent. That’s what you’re asking for. It’s also what I got for maths in matric. Coincidence? I hope so. I’m good with numbers – just don’t ask me to do calculations. At least we have that in common. I suppose what I’m saying is that I’m good with counting. Oh, yes. I will whip the president’s arse in a counting competition. But that’s not enough to get me elected. Not that I wish to. I just want electricity. I don’t even mind if you give me the cheap stuff. Most people I know find their lights way too bright and would be quite happy to pay half the price for a diluted version of the good shit.
So you have applied to the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) to give you the increase. Isn’t that a bit like asking your crack dealer cousin to slip you a rock while the wife isn’t looking? You’re related. It’s no good pretending otherwise. You don’t always get on, sure, especially when the neo-liberal wing of the fascist media start snooping around, but you’re basically blood. You’re sucking on the same vein, right?
Thanks to democracy, Nersa has to play a charade called “public hearings” before deciding on whether or not you should be allowed to jack up your prices. In the days before prevarication and dissembling became skills to be listed on one’s CV, public hearings would involve the actual public. Then again, they did sometimes end in public executions. Perhaps that’s why Nersa is holding their hearings in convention centres, far from the great unwashed. Nobody needs public opinion when it’s standing on a chair brandishing a blunt machete and shouting in a deep Transkei dialect.
A man who attended the Cape Town hearings, who looks like he knows a thing or two about agriculture, said farmers wouldn’t be able to absorb the increase. I find that hard to believe. Have you seen the size of farmers? They got that way by absorbing all sorts of things.
He also said food security would be in jeopardy. What? Since when did food get its own security? This is outrageous. Bandits can wander in off the street willy-nilly and help themselves to our wives and children, but there are armed guards on the butternuts?
Equally outrageous is the DA’s storming of your offices at Megatwatt Park this week, demanding that your executives repay the R63-million they’ve received in bonuses since load-shedding began. It’s obvious the bonuses are not a reward for competence and hard work, but are meant as compensation for the shame of working at Eskom. It’s like danger pay, except it’s their reputations at risk.
So-called economists against the increase claim that consumers are already reeling from high food and fuel prices, the drought and a currency that should be in calipers by now. This is nonsense. They are reeling from too much beer and weed and need to be disciplined.
Apparently you have overspent by several billion rand because you completely overestimated the demand for electricity. Look, I know that Benoni used car salesman Amps van der Volt only invented electricity in 1994, but how do you overestimate demand? Are you saying you generated a whole bunch of electricity only to find nobody needed it? And they didn’t need it because you had spent years telling them not to use it? This is the kind of conversation Alice had with the Mad Hatter and the March Hare.
I’m also going to be applying for an increase this year. I haven’t had one in three years. In my line of work, there are no public hearings. There is just me whining and begging and an editor who says no. At least you can flip the switch in protest. All I can do is stop writing and go to the beach every day. Hmm.