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South Africans could soon become independent little islands of self-sufficiency

Residential home fitted with solar panels to generate electricity in Durbanville. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Residential home fitted with solar panels to generate electricity in Durbanville. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Feb 26, 2021


by David Biggs

I visited a friend recently and found her in the throes of renovating her house. She was ripping sundry wires off her walls and covering up the various screw holes and plugs that had been holding them to the walls.

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“This one was linked to the alarm system,“ she said, “but the security company is now connected by radio, so they don’t need wires any more.”

Then she showed me where she had ripped the Telkom wires off the wall.

“Nobody uses landline phones any more. We do all our phoning by cellphone.”

Her letterbox had been removed from its usual place next to the front gate.

“I don’t think the Post Office delivers letters any more, so the letterbox has just become a nest for spiders.”

Out it went. All the screw holes in the walls have been filled a smoothed over, ready for repainting.

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An increasing number of homeowners have become tired of Eskom’s unreliable service and are installing solar panels to generate their own power. If this trend continues, modern cities and suburbs will become collections of totally independent little islands of self-sufficiency.

When Eskom provides yet another load-shedding power cut only the street lights will turn off. The windows of private houses, pubs and shops will remain cheerfully lit as residents enjoy the benefits of free solar energy. Eventually the only regular users of Eskom electricity might be the squatter camp residents who have set up their own illegal connections.

Sadly, they omitted to install meters, so Eskom is unlikely to earn much revenue from them. The corrupt ANC cadres will have to find an alternate source of income. They’ve plundered the airline and looted the railways. They stole the PPE from the health department. What’s left?

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With Eskom on the rocks our politicians may have to resort to earning an honest income elsewhere. (Shock! Horror!) Maybe some will even resort to finding real jobs, like ordinary people.

It’s a tough life. Nobody said that running a country was an easy matter.

Last Laugh

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For once the estate agent decided to be perfectly honest about a property he was selling.

“It’s bordered in the north side by a glue factory,” he said, “and there’s a rubber factory to the south. On the east side there’s a brewery and in the west side there’s an abattoir.”

“Good grief,” said the client, “doesn’t it have any redeeming features?”

“Well,” said the estate agent, “you can always tell which way the wind’s blowing.”

* "Tavern of the Seas" is a column written in the Cape Argus by David Biggs. Biggs can be contacted at [email protected]

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Cape Argus

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