Cape’s poor to provide power for province


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Inspired by Premier Helen Zille’s completion of the Argus Cycle Tour, the DA has announced that poor people in the Western Cape are to be strapped to exercise bikes to generate electricity through cycling. “We solve obesity and the question of green power all at once,” said Despot Dupree, supervising the first session. “Yebo!”

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Cape Town. 11.03.12. Western Cape Premier and DA leader Helen Zille going down hospital bend during this year's Cape Argus Pick 'n Pay cycle tour. Picture Ian Landsberg

The inspiration to use the poor of the Western Cape to generate power reportedly grew out of DA leader Helen Zille’s new interest in cycling and spandex exercise gear.

“Helen had a magnificent time riding the Argus, and she believes that every inhabitant of the province should have the experience of whizzing down Chapman’s Peak with the wind in your hair,” said spokeswoman Ingratiata Jones. “However, then we realised that poor people probably wouldn’t be willing to shell out for the Chapman’s Peak toll, despite their very generous social grants.”

Jones explained that the DA top brass then began to brainstorm alternative ways of getting the province to embrace cycling.

“We were standing in front of a whiteboard just chucking around some really blue-sky, out of the box lateral thinking,” said Jones. “And that’s when it struck us that the poor of the province could stop draining us and start powering us!”

Under the DA’s plans, currently being trialled for the first time in a warehouse near Philippi, poor people will be assigned an exercise bike and then plugged in to begin pedalling a gigantic generator in the field outside, believed to have the capacity to provide a much-needed source of reliable electricity to the area within five square kilometres of Cavendish Square.

“When we say they will be ‘plugged in’, we mean shackled to the pedals with leg-irons,” said Despot Dupree, in charge of overseeing the first trials. “This may seem cruel but we don’t want them falling off at the speed they’ll be cycling, and we also don’t want a sudden drop-off of electricity to the province when the hardworking ratepayers of Newlands are just sitting down to a well-deserved episode of Isidingo.”

Participants in the scheme will be compensated with a small daily stipend, a pree squeezy water bottle and a nightly voucher for a carbohydrate-heavy dinner at Primi Piatti.

“But of course, the real value for them will lie in those post-cycle endorphins flooding their system,” explained Jones. “When Helen finished the Argus she was beaming so much that she managed to totally undo the work of her two latest Botox sessions.”

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