The African National Congress (ANC) and the apartheid regime both have a historical interest in developing and destroying Eskom, the power giant of South Africa. In the 46 years that apartheid was practiced, South African became a leading economy on the African Continent. When Jan Van Riebeeck arrived in 1652, there was nothing; a barren land turned into a powerhouse, rich in mineral resources and substantial infrastructure. During the apartheid heydays, the world acquired high profits on investments and Eskom the state-owned corporation had an abundance of power, so much so that neighboring countries benefited from the growth.
The ANC have been ruling South Africa for 21 years, almost half the number of years of apartheid rule and almost destroyed everything built under the old regime. A democratic country since 1994, and nothing accomplished in 21 years. Instead of building on what was given freely, the country is slowly being turned into a bushland status. Infrastructure is crumbling, crime is out of control, the genocide of the white population is stepping up. Corruption, thievery and fraud are the order of the day. Education is almost gone, a failed system to keep the uneducated ignorant. Medical care is practically non-existent, hospitals are in a crisis and so the list goes on.
In January this year, at an ANC rally, Zuma said all of South Africa’s problems began when Jan van Riebeeck arrived in Cape Town. Before the rally could begin in earnest, a praise singer said that the spirit of Dutch colonizer Jan van Riebeeck needed to be exorcised. Perhaps the reason for the exorcism was to eliminate the curse of the white man who destroyed everything built by the black man. Perhaps it was based on Eskom pumping out electricity to the entire region, the tarred roads, universities, water infrastructures, and airports that all flourished before 1652. It was under apartheid that the black ingenuity was destroyed, yet it is really an empty man with far too much power.
Load sheeting (blackouts) are happening all the time, due to maintenance problems, lack of diesel, wet coal and Eskom CEO’s are probably on knees praying there is enough electricity for Nkandla. Eskom needs money, and there is no money in the box. However, President Jacob Zuma has a trusted and reliable plan, yet the well-tried blame it on apartheid for the failures of the ANC government. Zuma will say the electricity problem is a result of the legacy of apartheid, and not of the ANC leadership; however much blamed or misguided the reasons are, it does not produce electricity.
Every few years, despite all the money spent on enormous salaries and bonuses, Eskom keeps begging for more money to keep the lights on in South Africa. The ANC keep throwing money at Eskom, who in turn keeps wasting. At this point, the ANC is running out of money; there is no more money to buy paint and cover the cracks on the wall, and there is no money to maintain the system. If the brainpower is not there making a plan for the future, then it is not going to happen on its own; now, Eskom has run out of money and brainpower.
The ANC arrived to rescue the country and today, under the liberating rule, South Africa has daily rolling blackouts. How did Eskom get into such a desperate situation, and manage to break something indestructible? Eskom is the joke of the century, an entertainer to the citizens. It is not fun to sit in the dark when the electricity is switched off due to incompetence, corruption and mismanagement. Eskom, of course, will never admit that the problem is caused by incompetence as that would mean people would be held accountable and forced to take responsibility. It is easier to blame the problem on the rain. While the apartheid regime and Jan van Riebeeck still are the core elements of all the failings according to the Democratic leaders, the new democracy of South Africa is not moving forward under the ANC rule.
Opinion by Laura Oneale
Edited by Chanel van der Woodsen
Timeslive: let’s exorcise spirit of Jan van Riebeeck first, praise singer tells crowd at ANC rally
Photo Courtesy of Robert Wallace Flickr Page – Creative Commons License