South Africa: Forward to the Past

After yet another wretched night without power, I bought an ounce of criminally overpriced data and turned to the internet for help. Dignitas seemed the most effective solution, but my bank balance said I wouldn’t be flying to Switzerland any time soon.

With euthanasia off the board, the second option was a site called The Survivalist Blog. On it, I found a chapter entitled, “How to live without electricity for the rest of your life.” What a fortuitous find. This is a prospect faced by all South Africans. Okay, not all. Cabinet ministers are shielded from reality so that they may fornicate and steal without being distracted by our howls of fury, as impotent as they are.

The first line reads, “There are many reasons people choose to live without electricity.” This includes moving to a remote area or wanting to be more self-sufficient. No mention is made of those who would quite like to live with electricity but are unable to do so because other people keep voting for a government made entirely of cretins and thieves.

I am told that “living without electricity involves some sacrifices and a lot of hard work”. I am among the many South Africans who are unfamiliar with these concepts. If this entails physical labour, Plan A might still be an option. Google Maps says I can walk to Zurich via something called the EN120, but it will take me 2 243 hours. Longer if I stop at shebeens along the way.

Sacrifices and hard work it is, then.

Hold on. Do you think they mean human sacrifices? We could start with Gwede Mantashe, I suppose. And if that goes well, we can move on to the Eskom board. At some point, the gods of electricity will be suitably appeased and shall reward us for our efforts. The reward, one fervently hopes, will come in the form of the ANC getting soundly thrashed in 2024 and banished from coming anywhere near the levers of power ever again.

The blog, clearly written by someone who lives in a normal country run by competent people, tells me that “going without power might sound like an antiquated concept”. Not here, it doesn’t. This isn’t the past we’re living in – it’s the future. We’re pioneers, we are. When all the world’s natural resources have been plundered and the planet is plunged into darkness, we can proudly say, “We were the first to do it.”

Apparently, living without electricity is “beneficial in countless ways”. One of these is that you can ditch the electricity bill. This doesn’t apply to us because Eskom gives us just enough power to retain us as paying customers. They’re like crack dealers, slipping us a little at a time to make sure we keep coming back for more.

The preppers who run this site tell me that one of the benefits of living free of electricity is that you will “never need to call an electrician”. Electricians in this country prefer that you don’t call them. On the rare occasion they do answer the phone, they will insist you send them detailed explanations and even pictures. They will do everything to avoid coming to your house. Then, after making several dummy appointments, six silent, unsmiling men in overalls turn up at your door in the midst of your morning stool. They spend five hours replacing a switch on your circuit board and you end up having to sell a kidney to pay the bill.

“Going without electricity is as eco-friendly as it gets and can help lead you to better health. That’s because many of the electrical devices we rely on today disrupt our natural circadian rhythms…” We don’t have that problem. The only thing that disrupts our sleep is men in balaclavas taking advantage of our lifeless motion sensors and alarms so that they may get their monstrous hands on our electrical devices. Falling asleep is not the issue. It’s the waking up alive we’re aiming for.

I am helpfully reminded that if I bulk buy “pantry staples” like pasta, rice and flour, and learn how to cure and salt meat, I don’t need a fridge to eat a healthy and affordable diet. Perhaps. But I do need a way of keeping the beer cold. Too much warm beer and it’s off to Dignitas right away, even if I have to pay for a return ticket I’ll never use.

Apparently, I can keep my electricity-free house warm in winter by cooking over an indoor fire and being “as active as possible”. No problem there. I’ll be very active when the furnishings catch alight. This is good because one of the best ways to stay warm is to “get the blood flowing”. Exercise not your thing? Don’t worry. With our impressive murder rate, there are plenty of folks out there who’d be happy to get your blood flowing for you.

5 thoughts on “South Africa: Forward to the Past

  1. Wendy says:

    ffs this is so one hairbreadth of being the truth its almost not funny

  2. Penny Hoets says:

    Have you tried storing dry good without keeping them in the freezer? The next time you look half the pasta has turned to dust and things fly out of packets when they have progressed from the worm stage….

  3. Verne Maree says:

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  4. David John Beattie says:

    “in the middle of my morning stool” was too much for me. I fell off my stool laughing!

  5. So its great to see that Cape Town will be hosting the E Prix on 24th and 25th of February. The cars are all electric. Presumably the race will be running entirely downhill as there will be no electricity to charge their batteries…..
    Talk about bad timing – who on earth signed-off on this event!

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