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#PoeticLicence: This is how Eskom is run like a taxi

Author and poet Rabbie Serumula. File image.

Author and poet Rabbie Serumula. File image.

Published Nov 28, 2021


Johannesburg - We have been moving sideways. Fourteen years since the inception of load shedding and the system could STILL collapse.

This is the picture Ramaphosa painted:

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We are in the foreground of a silhouette. We are the dark shapes, the outline of bodies or things. We are numbers, barely visible. We exist between smoke and mirrors.

But we know if the light had to be summoned, then darkness is older.

Not only are we born into these dark exoskeletons, we are also almost nocturnal.

We live in the dark. We see each other’s faces through flashes of headlights from taxis in the streets.

This is how Eskom is run like a taxi:

When you are waiting to catch a taxi to work, it doesn’t matter if it looks like an optical illusion; like the tow truck is invisible, because "how is this taxi moving?!"

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You step back as it slows down. The integrity of the brakes is anyone’s guess.

You wonder if it stopped because you hailed, or it was breaking down.

There is a split second where you have to interact with the door before being told to stop wasting peoples time and get in!

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You cradle the door open. You never bang it when you close it, or the entire structure may collapse.

It may be dusty inside. You may see potholes fly beneath your feet through a rusted hole on the floor. Too many R2 coins may have parted with palms and dove into those potholes. Or perhaps people have made wishing wells of portholes.

Every morning there is hope that this taxi will park in one piece that night.

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But if it slowly comes to a halt, it will be called load shedding. People understand that taxis break down all the time, load shedding is very common!

A taxi can overload passengers every day. It is on the day that it crashes that it becomes a tragedy.

The brake pads can whistle for another week. Whatever money this taxi makes, first goes to filling the tank. The donkeywork has to be done regardless of how petrol prices have sprouted scales on their legs, claws on their nails and wings on their backs.

If it isn’t moving, it isn’t making money. It is one of the spine sections on the backbone of the economy.

"Load shedding is always the last resort where the demand for electricity is greater than what can be produced for the system. It is necessary to prevent the collapse of the power grid and a complete blackout," said Ramaphosa.

We have been looping in a 14-year passive-aggressive relationship with Eskom, and the ANC has had too many second chances.

We are stuck between load shedding or a complete blackout.

What other option than the R131 billion South Africa will receive in loans to assist Eskom move from coal to clean energy?

The Saturday Star

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