My regular supplier of fish and chips is usually a very friendly and cordial man.
But on Friday he used some choice words that I never thought I would hear coming out of his mouth.
He was hopping mad at Eskom for the load shedding happening at supper time on a month-end Friday.
“What am I supposed to do? This is usually my busiest time and here I am with nothing to do. Just look at my staff sitting around.
“I’ve got to pay them for this time, but I didn’t make any money,” he said, adding “Eskom vat ons vir ‘n gat!”
And then he got philosophical about the ongoing and random load shedding.
“Eskom is also not making any money from me right now because I’m not using electricity. But they just push the prices up, so they can offset their loss,” he explains.
But he wasn’t done yet: “And despite that, they are still running that company into the ground. Then they simply just get another government bailout; with my tax money. It’s one big scam!”
And then he said something that really hit home: “Who is going to bail me out for the money I am losing right now?”
We continued talking for a while, with him telling me how the load shedding is killing small businesses around the country.
I left my order with him and returned an hour later to collect my delicious parcel of fish and chips, after the lights had come on again.
It’s situations like load shedding that is the reason why some people often refer to “the good old days, when things worked”.
Of course it worked, but only for the few.
The majority of people were deprived of resources, so there was always enough to go around for everyone else.
Eskom is just one of the money issues that our leaders are blinded to because their incomes are not affected by it.
I’m not even sure if their homes are affected by load shedding.
As I’ve said previously, as long as our politicians are exempt from the effects of their actions (or inactions), things will never change.
At least Eskom’s former CEO, Jabu Mabuza, set an excellent example when he resigned, after failing to keep his “no load shedding promise” to the president.
I think that should be a contractual obligation for all future heads of parastatals.