Confidence shedding

I don’t get involved in politics, as a general rule. It’s messy, it’s scary, and (to quote my 11th grade English teacher), creates more heat than light. A pertinent maxim, given the current load shedding. For the first time since 2008 (that’s 6 years), Eskom is cutting power again.

Now, I get it – shit happens. Every organization, every level, every scale, shit happens. It doesn’t particularly bother me that we’re enduring a rotating blackout. What bothers me are the statements from the politicians in charge of ensuring these crises don’t happen:

“We expect the rains will subside and as the rain subsides obviously we’ll be back to normal. That’s the timeline we’re more or less expecting to have a return to normality,” Molewa said.

It’s absurd that our national energy supply could be affected by the weather. I mean, other countries endure tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, nuclear meltdowns, and actual acts of terrorism, and they manage to keep the lights on. So that worries me, but not as much as this:

“It is a question of utilisation, that’s why cabinet… said we are making a call to all South Africans to ensure we use energy efficiently.” #

Or, put another way: There’s plenty of power available, if you use less of it. Given that electricity is an artificial resource, and that you can produce more of it given the correct facilities and resources, the question is: where are those facilities?

In fact, where is the sense of urgency to say “well, crap, we have to fix this”? Saying that there’s plenty of energy and we should simply use less, is horrifically short-sighted. In what market (hell, in what universe), does it become the consumer’s fault that demand exceeds supply?

Jackie Chan is not amused.

Jackie Chan is not amused.

By that logic, they need never expand our national capacity again. Every time there’s another shortfall, they just trot out the “efficiency” rhetoric, somehow making it everyone else’s fault for using too much electricity – electricity that we’re paying a ridiculous amount for in the first place, because the vendor has failed to create adequate capacity.

What a circus.

3 thoughts on “Confidence shedding

  1. Agreed! Their comments have been far more worrying to me than the short lived load shedding. I also think the OMFG! THERE’S A NATIONAL EMERGENCY! SWITCH ALL THE LIGHTS OFF NOWZ! could have been avoided since it lasted all of a day. I mean really. That and hire a second year Engineering student to figure out how to keep coal dry. (Hint: Avoid leaving it out in the rain)

    • I read somewhere that the whole wet-coal thing was just a smokescreen, and the real issue was a break in supply. Wouldn’t be surprised to find out that some sub-sub-sub-contracted BEE company was running unroadworthy trucks or something, which then led to a power station or two shutting down.

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