The thought of once again writing about Eskom makes me want to rip out my eyeballs and run naked down the N2. I have been lashing out at this failed cartel since 2008.
People speak of the terror of staring into the abyss. Please. They’re lucky to have an abyss. Try the futility of shouting into the void, year after year, ignored by the drooling hunchback idly flicking switches by candlelight.
I didn’t plan on being in a bar right now, and yet here I am, the dull drone of rugby on repeat almost drowning out the dull drone of the cheap generator. I look around. Nobody looks like they want to be here. Eskom has forced us to leave our homes and start drinking earlier than we would on a normal day. Not that normal days are a thing in this country.
Some probably don’t have to be here. It’s only just gone 10am. It’s not as if Eskom interrupted their preparing a meal. By the looks of them, they’ve never cooked anything more substantial than crystal meth.
Eskom, that suppurating sack of weevils and leeches, brings out the worst in all of us. Having the power repeatedly going off for hours at a time sends a clear signal that the centre is not holding, leaving us no choice but to fall apart. I find this is best done in the nearest bar.
The last time I was in here was also during a blackout. They only serve craft beer, which immediately sets fire to my blood pressure. How bloody dare they. This is meant to be a free country. Craft beer tastes like it’s been brewed overnight and left to stand in old leather boots. Also, you can’t have more than eight pints if you hope to avoid killing someone on the road, or worse, sustaining a hangover from hell.
That’s not the only reason I haven’t been back until now. You see, as much as one might dislike craft beer, it’s just not a good enough reason to knock 500ml of it into one’s laptop. That was a couple of months ago. Issues with short-term memory are common in these parts and it seemed unlikely anyone would remember me leaving an unpaid bill and running out the door, screaming, my laptop above my head, as a pint of White Rabbit gushed from the keyboard.
Obviously, I’ve learnt my lesson. Not the lesson that I shouldn’t drink and write. That’s a stupid lesson that did nobody in the history of writing any good at all. What I’ve learnt is to put the beer further away, so that I have to make an effort to reach it. It looks like I’m sneaking hits on someone else’s drink. Someone who might have just stepped out for a hit on the crack pipe.
Craft beer, man. Causing as much havoc as Eskom.
Speaking of which, how about this 32% price increase these mavens of mayhem over at Megatwatt Park are demanding? That’s more than the education department demands for a matric pass. We’re investing more in electricity than we are in our children’s future. Okay, that does make sense. Especially when you consider a recent study found that 53% of university graduates say they might leave the country. We should do what Florida governor Ron DeSantis is doing with migrants. DeSantis sends his to Martha’s Vineyard, which seems a strange choice if you’re trying to deter Latinos from wading across the Rio Grande.
We could pull a DeSantis on our “graduate, then emigrate” ingrates and lure them onto planes with promises of free alcohol and drugs, then dump them in a place that’s in desperate need of professional help. I was thinking maybe Durban. Actually, I don’t care where they go. I didn’t graduate and consequently have no chance of emigrating. That’s partly why I’m in this bar.
For Eskom to be able to gouge more money from us, they have to get the approval of the National Energy Regulator. You’d think they might come to us for approval. Instead, they go to another body controlled by the government. It’s like hitting up your favourite uncle for a loan. He’ll always give you something.
Nersa’s “public hearings” charade is currently underway. Not at an actual venue, of course. The last thing they want is public opinion when it’s standing on a chair brandishing a blunt machete and shouting in a deep Transkei dialect. Far safer to do it online.
Oh, look. The power’s back. Not for long, though. The problem seems to be that, when it comes to maintenance, Eskom is “obliged” to use contractors whose only qualification for the job is an ANC membership card.
The other thing is that André de Ruyter expects us to use less electricity while simultaneously paying more for it. Bro, it’s not just your units that are tripping.