Do They Really Think that we are that Stupid?

Of course they do. And we are. First we had President Zuma laughing his way through a Parliamentary session on the Budget. Then the Minister of Police had to the temerity to insult our intelligence by baldly stating that the most unlikely expenditure on Nkandla, Zuma’s private residence, were all installed for security purposes. Then FIFA bribe scandal broke. To cap it all, is the ongoing saga about Eskom.

After Nkandlagate the next episode of the soap opera that is South Africa under Zuma was released. Then came the FIFA imbroglio in which the American FBI allege that the South Africans paid a bribe to a FIFA executive amounting to $10 million. What has been the government’s reaction? Bluster, lies and cover-ups from the Minister of Sports, Fikile Mbalula. At the best of times, he first has to remove the one foot from his mouth before he can insert the other one. Upon closer inspection after every denial, investigative journalists would undercover another piece of the jigsaw puzzle which would undermine part of the denial. Like the seasoned politician that he is, he just dug himself a bigger hole through more bluster.

Main picture: Silo collapse at Majuba Power Station

Candles

Say a eulogy to electricity in South Africa

Clearly implicated in this bribe, is none other than the affable Mr Danny Jordaan of SAFA [South African Football Association] who was recently appointed as the new Mayor of Port Elizabeth and the incumbent, an 84 year old, was senile.

Correspondence soon linked Mr Olifant of SAFA to the bribe. When the members of the Opposition suggested that the first witness to be called to account to the Parliamentary Committee for Sport should be the ANC star, Mr Jordaan, the ANC members vetoed the suggestion as they claimed somebody like Mr Mbalula, who was still in short trousers at the time would be the more knowledgeable person to appear in order to answer to the charges!!!!

The lies about the Eskom debacle are the ones that I find so irksome. After having to endure a 2 ½ hour drive home tonight due to load shedding, I was again fuming. Only last week the new CEO of Eskom, Brian Molefe, had categorically stated that there would be no need for load shedding this winter. Then why was I sitting in the traffic due to load shedding!

Then I again had to listen to the inane reasons supplied for the lack of electricity: Apartheid, too much rain, too little rain. A new one arose on the 702 Talk Radio today: too many cloudy days!. Perhaps it was a practical joker’s idea of a lame excuse, but given the level of absurdity that the suits at Mega Watt Park expect the gullible public to accept, it is a plausibly yet another one of the numerous red herrings to be aired.

Ash build-up at Lehabo Power Station which resulted in the collapse of equipment

Ash build-up at Lehabo Power Station which resulted in the collapse of equipment

Of course the real reasons are well known:

  • Incompetent management. The previous Chief Executive Tshediso Matona lasted no more than six months before Eskom parted company with him on an amicable basis ie a huge wad of cash. That was shortly after the Chairman of the Board was implicated in tender irregularities.
  • The level of electricity produced today as compared with 20 years ago is significantly less
  • Lack of maintenance. The collapse of a two silos has cost Eskom in excess of a billion rand to repair
  • Replacement stations – Kusile & Medupi are 7 years behind schedule
  • Lack of coal as Eskom refuses to purchase from white owned mines
  • Lack of skills despite unemployed white technical skills being available
After being head hunted for the job as CEO of Eskom, Mr Tshediso Matona only lasted months before being replaced by Brian Molefe

After being head hunted for the job as CEO of Eskom, Mr Tshediso Matona only lasted months before being replaced by Brian Molefe

When a well-known expert in the electricity field, Chris Yelland, today released scary pictures not on the lack of maintenance to the power stations themselves but to the infrastructure itself, it showed yet another dimension to the problem. Decaying infrastructure implies that all elements of the supply chain from the mines to the customer are now suspect.

Yelland illustrated the dismal state of Eskom’s local distribution infrastructure through the photos posted below. [Photos and comments taken from MyBroadband]

 

Eskom distribution board in Hurlingham

An Eskom distribution board in Hurlingham, Johannesburg in a derelict state

Eskom distribution board in Hurlingham

Eskom distribution board in Hurlingham

 

City Power switch gear cubicle

A City Power 11KV switch gear cubicle on the side of Beyers Naude Drive is strapped together with band-it.

City Power switch gear cubicle

City Power switch gear cubicle

“I saw this broken cubicle for four months, and I was reporting it for all four months. After three months they put the band-it around it. Before that the doors were lying in the veld,” said Yelland.

 

Eskom distribution box in Sandton

An Eskom distribution box in Sandton clearly shows the poor state of local electricity infrastructure.

Eskom distribution box in Sandton

Eskom distribution box in Sandton

 

City Power mini sub-station

A City Power mini sub-station outside of Yelland’s house in Craighall also shows the lack of maintenance on local infrastructure.

City Power mini sub-station

City Power mini sub-station

 

Eskom distribution board in Sandton

An Eskom distribution board in Sandton which leaves a lot to be desired.

Eskom distribution board in Sandton

Eskom distribution board in Sandton

 


4 Comments

  1. With respect, Dean, the reasons you have given are all subsidiary to the predominant reason – the members Thabo Mbeki’s Government were warned of the impending problem and chose to hide their collective heads in the sand – a total lack of sensible and adequate forward thinking and planning driven by a self-serving political agenda that wanted “quick wins”, resulting in spending being diverted away from critical infrastructure to prop up the socialist promises provided to the electorate. That, and a Government hell-bent, by its policies generally, on cutting off its nose to spite its face. And now everybody suffers!

    Reply
  2. Refusing to hire technical help simply because they are white shows a ignorance of humanity.
    As the FICA bribery, only the U.S.A had the laws in place to bring the charges against the guilty. Because the guilty committed the crimes on U.S soil, the could be charged for many, many years of corrupt bribery and the illegal use of improper monies transfer.

    Reply
    • Hi Vickie, South Africa now has very strict laws in place regarding the emplyment of whites. These are rigorously enforced in all Government Departmenr=ts and Parastatals such as Eskom. I once heard an interview with a Heavy Current Electrical Engineer on 702 Talk Radio who was unable to obtain employment at Eskom due to their AA Policies. Eventually he was forced to start his own company. Eskom is still short of blacks to fill many technical positions and like the State Hospitals will probably import Cubans. So racism lies on in the new South Africa but now it is enforced by the blacks instead of the whites.
      As Henry Ford once prophetically stated, “Manking never learns from history.”

      Reply

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