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    Our darkest hour came after the new dawn

    January 30, 2023 - Mzilikazi Wa Afrika


      Johannesburg - Eskom has become a weapon of mass deception and a tool to score cheap political points.

      While the ruling party and the opposition are at each other’s throats, citizens remain in the dark as direct and latent victims of the monotonous load shedding. In the confusion of it all, an endless blame game has ensued: For instance, President Cyril Ramaphosa would blame his predecessor, Jacob Zuma. Zuma would blame the Gupta brothers and former president Thabo Mbeki.

      Paradoxically, Mbeki would neither blame the late statesman nor accept any responsibility for any or all of the mess at the power utility. Nobody wants to take full responsibility, let alone those who do not pay their electricity bills, and those using illegal connections … nobody is willing to take any blame. None whatsoever.

      The ANC has been in power since April 1994 and has failed to save the power for the people. Mandela promised electricity to millions of houses across the country, from the villages to the townships. Keep his promise as it relates to the electrification of most of South Africa he did.

      However, Eskom failed to keep its promise to keep the lights on.

      Eskom has been a centre of massive corruption, involving billions of rands. It has been fertile ground for criminals and a preschool for future thieves and amateur fraudsters.

      The power utility used to be a beacon of hope and a model for electric supply on the continent, sometimes even a power bread-basket, but now it is becoming a symbol of shame, failure and maladministration at rapid speed.

      Professor Patrick Lumumba made a critical and profound statement when he said: “We elect hyenas to take care of goats and when the goats go missing, we wonder why.”

      That is what happened at Eskom. We have often elected incompetent people to take care of our electricity and when we are subjected to load shedding that is costing our economy billions of rands, we wonder why.

      We have asked a former taxi driver to transport the future generation of electricity, men who failed dismally in their previous jobs to transform Eskom and sometimes gave the keys to the safe to thieves who are hungry to feed their lifestyles and become the new kings and queens of state capturers.

      White-owned companies were given evergreen contracts while their black counterparts were given crumbs, which they bitterly fight for among themselves. When things go wrong, the latter is the first to have blame apportioned to them and become headline news – the faces of corruption at Eskom, the looters and the thieves – while those who are milking the power utility are smiling all the way to the bank, with protection from their friends in higher places.

      It is well-documented and undisputed that some former Eskom executives saw the power utility as a get-rich-quick scheme for their friends and cronies. Some politicians also got their fingers on the pie – it was their time to eat and get rich.

      Law enforcement agencies conducted their investigation at a snail’s pace. They would often deliberately catch small fish, which were then almost instantaneously paraded as big fish, while the cartels and mafias operating within the power utility are being allowed to loot and keep South Africa in the dark as they keep supplying fake and inferior-grade coal.

      One often wonders who is sleeping on the job. Is it the board or the minister, or is it the president? Someone must account for these failures, some people must take full responsibility. As a country we do not need sacrificial lambs or scapegoats, rather we need the real culprits, who fooled us, misled us with their big words and allowed Eskom to collapse under their watch, from 1994 to 2022, and still counting to 2023 to beyond.

      We need to have a gallery of rogues and a wall of shame where we will nail the princes and princesses of darkness on the cross. We do not need any political mudslinging or propaganda that is well-orchestrated by white monopoly capital and shoved down our throats by so-called one-sided experts, commentators and embedded journalists, who are singing for their supper, thereby aiding continuous state capture.

      We need the truth, nothing but the truth, so that we can fix the problem and send some people, the real culprits, to jail and throw away the key.

      South Africans deserve better: We refuse to be sent back to the dark ages, and we also refuse to be ass-lickers, and we hope some clever blacks are now awake to smell the coffee.

      The problems at Eskom cannot solve themselves. What we need are committed men and women, with sober minds and determination, to save us from the jaws of the crocodiles and save our otherwise beautiful country from the pit and misfortune of darkness.

      It is never too late and, in fact, it is now or never. The blame game must end today, right now, and the rescue mission must commence with immediate effect. People talk about the so-called nine wasted years as if they were not part of the very same government and decision-making members of the same party.

      Eskom is the lifeblood of our democracy, our ailing economy depends on it to survive and business needs proper electricity to strive. Now, the country is facing two to three years of permanent load shedding as the only to keep the electricity grid from collapsing.

      Now, many South Africans are asking themselves what happened to all the promises and commitments Ramaphosa’s administration made – because for us, as South Africans, the darkest hour has come after the new dawn.

      Sunday Independent


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