So the new year is off to a cracking start. Someone tried to assassinate the head of the University of Fort Hare, there’s less electricity than ever before, and it turns out that André de Ruyter’s morning coffee was being made by Daisy de Melker.
We also have an exciting new Covid mutation going by the catchy name of XBB.1.5, known to its friends as Kraken.
And Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is reluctant to comply with a court order to show exactly how the government reached its decisions on the lockdown regulations. It’s understandable, perhaps, given that the documentation around some of the more interesting decisions, like banning surfing and outlawing the sale of cigarettes and roast chickens, could well be a fuzzy selfie, half a glass of red wine and illegible scribblings on a Wimpy serviette.
On the international front, there’s good news for men with attention deficit willies. Researchers in China have used artificial tissue to restore erectile function in pigs. I don’t know why they were having trouble in the downstairs department in the first place. Maybe they drank too much. Or were stressed about something. I know that if I were born a Bama miniature pig in China, I’d be massively stressed and wouldn’t be able to shag either.
“Chinese Bama miniature pigs are genetically stable, highly inbred, small and inexpensive”. I have dated women with those characteristics, even though it must be said that my behaviour was almost always more swinish than theirs. It’s a cross all men must bear. Okay, fine. Not all men.
“Minipigs have become very popular for pharmaceutical studies in place of dogs and primates, especially in Europe.” I do hope some monkeys and a beagle or two managed to escape from the laboratories and spread the good news. I remember a time when people wanted minipigs as pets. At least they’ll be pleased to know they are still popular.
More good news is that 21 South African companies will be starting a six-month pilot to study the benefits of a four-day working week. It’s being done by an alliance of employers called the 4 Day Week South Africa Coalition. If they contested next year’s election, I’d back them for a win. Ever since I came to the harsh realisation that sponging off my parents forever wasn’t an option, I’ve hated the brutes who unilaterally decided that everyone should work for five days in return for two off. It’s a monstrous system devised by tyrants and sociopaths and the sooner it’s scrapped the better.
I was going to write something about the ANC’s 111th anniversary, but given the party’s age and condition, a memorial would be more appropriate than a celebration. No matter how much I drink, I can’t bear the thought of ferreting about in our spuriously sanguine president’s January 8 speech in the hope of uncovering a nugget of raw truth that somehow escaped being coated in sugary artifice and drizzled with duplicity.
Our government is brilliant at telling us what needs to be done. This has proved to be a bucket that can be kicked down the road for all eternity. Or at least until a critical mass of people realise that having our leaders tell us what needs to be done isn’t the same as them actually doing something that needs to be done.
Maybe it’s better that way. When they do make a decision of any consequence, one is overcome with sensations of vertigo. The way you feel on a wildly pitching boat or at the apex of a rollercoaster ride. There’s that hollow feeling in your stomach. “Oh God,” you murmur. “Hold tight. Here we go.”
That’s the feeling I got when I heard the president say that Eskom will soon be the responsibility of the energy department. In other words, Gwede Mantashe. Speak not his name aloud for doves will fall from the sky and dolphins shall beach themselves.
I carry no torch for Pravin Gordhan – actually, thanks to Eskom, we all now carry torches – and I don’t think he should be in government. I don’t think there should even be a government, but that’s a discussion for another day. But to hand over the world’s largest emitter of sulfur dioxide to a man with a disturbing coal fetish? Mantashe is probably a white man. It’s just a thick layer of coal dust that got him this job. Hose him down and prove me wrong.
André de Ruyter’s last day at Eskom will be on 31 March, possibly sooner if he stands near open windows or keeps drinking the company coffee. Speaking of poisoned chalices, Mantashe says the ANC will play an active role in appointing Eskom’s new CEO. There’s that gut-churning feeling again.
Ramaphosa, sensing the entire nation has begun practising the brace position, warned that the party’s latest policy decisions would take time to implement. Warned? Reassured, surely.
“Things in government move very slowly, I have learned,” he said. But, comrade, you must realise it doesn’t have to be like that. Inertia and lethargy are not specific to governments per se. I know of governments that have done huge things very quickly. It really is just you and your party that can’t get it together. Oh, well. It’s probably for the best. Let’s all go back to sleep.
Wake me up when it’s over.