Dear Mr President, let there be light

In 2022, South Africa experienced its worst year of load shedding. Photographer: Dean Hutton/Bloomberg

In 2022, South Africa experienced its worst year of load shedding. Photographer: Dean Hutton/Bloomberg

Published Jan 17, 2023


By Jodene Louw-Masebe

Dear Mr President

Salutations to you from a young South African woman who was elated when you first took on this role. However, please don’t assume that that statement means I support the political party you represent.

I happen to be the great-grandchild of the late Communist leader, JB Marks, and I often ponder how the Struggle icons must be turning in their final resting places. I have many grievances but the one I bring to you today is the infamous load shedding plaguing our nation.

Do you find yourself in the uncomfortable position of having an infant for whom you cannot boil water to make a bottle? Do you find yourself in the position of sitting at you desk and then remembering: “I didn’t plug in the LED lights (to charge), and this curse of load shedding would have struck by the time I reach home”? Do you find yourself not having food readily available in your fridge and having to create a food contingency budget, one which many of us cannot afford?

I’ll tell you in which position we see “leadership”, one which has to have at least two additional cars – luxury cars – escorting them from pillar to post. And this while rural schools have neither running water nor adequate ablution facilities. I’m saddened by the fact that the people of this country trusted your political party and no good has come from the misplaced leap of faith. Instead, we find ourselves suffering! I’m tempted to say more than before, but I’d be lying, as the apartheid struggles did not directly impact me as a ’90s baby.

Do you even know how the load shedding schedule works? My husband reminded me a few days ago, that the ANC is the “People’s Party” so no one can be fired. I thought: “Besides themselves, which people are they serving?” Due to my frustration, my articulation might be flawed, but we need a solution to the many ills facing our people. Maybe the solution is titled: “Change”.

But the next question is, change moving on to whom? See the peculiar situation in which we find ourselves? It is unsettling to say the least but a change is needed.


* The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of IOL or Independent Media.

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