Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
DURBAN - Here we are on the cusp of the dreaded “power-failure” time again.

Forget load-shedding - that’s just another term intended to soften the fact that arguably our most important entity is again holding the whole country to ransom.

For the past umpteen years, many have written about the failure of Eskom in doing what it is supposed to do - provide much-needed power, not only to us paying customers, but to every other important income-generating entity.

Not forgetting the important part power plays in purifying water, plus hospitals require it to ensure they operate and their patients are kept alive.

Power is needed so that security is maintained for the protection of citizens who are under threat, and it is needed for all those other aspects which make a country operate as it should.

Just look at what load shedding does to the traffic grid, when traffic lights aren’t operating, and that is merely a small example of the calamity that this power crisis is causing.

How can a business like Eskom be expected to run soundly, when its lifeblood, the income required to maintain and improve its very infrastructure, is being eroded from within?

How can you run a company by not generating the very thing that brings in its revenue?

Yet this shocking state of affairs was allowed to continue to the point where we all are sitting in a crisis that will affect the future of our existence.

How can we continue to see “free electricity” added to these woes?

Before you accuse me of being heartless, I am not talking about the small amount that can be seen as justified, to give hope to the poor and needy, but the huge “hidden quantities”, which are used without a conscience, by those illegally connected to the grid, as well as by those institutions - some of them government institutions - that see no need to cough up for their usage. Shame on you all. You, too, are a part of this plundering.

It is time that those who stood by while this horrendous act was allowed to perpetuate our demise, are held to account. It should not merely be a slap on the wrist, but they should be criminally charged and even if their homes, vehicles and overseas bank accounts should be seized, and if they sit in sackcloth and wail like Job, so be it.

Stop pouring our hard-earned money down a never-ending hole. Get rid of the incompetence, forget the race card and put whoever is best into critical positions.

Too much expertise has already been sacrificed due to short-term goals based on racial division.

When hope is lost in a country’s future by its citizens, those who can afford to do so, no matter what colour they are, make off for more secure pastures.

Look at what is happening all around the world. Even those who don’t have much money will put their lives at stake to get out of the hole they find themselves in.

We are all South Africans. How can we work together when division is sown by those who don’t care about the future of South Africa? No one can sing the praises of a country when only sad songs come to mind. Give us reason to sing songs of upliftment and praise. Stop the rot, now!

- THE MERCURY