Corruption is Literally Leaving South Africa Without Any Lights
National electricity provider, Eskom, has now implemented stage 4 load-shedding in the country.
The struggling state-owned enterprise (SOE), Eskom, which is supposed to provide electricity to the entire country, has now implemented stage 4 load-shedding. This means that 10 percent of its generating capacity will be halted, leaving millions of South Africans in darkness.
For years, it has been no secret that SOEs are among the most ill-managed and dysfunctional organisations there are. From Prasa which is in charge of railways, SARS which collects taxes to our national airline, South African Airways (SAA), they have all been run into the ground. Eskom is not an outlier in the SOEs that have and continue to require billions of rands in bailouts from the government owing to maladministration and rampant corruption.
Eskom has seen numerous CEOs come and go in attempts to stop the corruption but all have failed. The government has shown poor political will in reigning in rogue employees from plundering the SOE's funds year after year. As a result, South Africans have had to bear the brunt of increasing electricity tariffs that continuously leave the poor and working class in even worse-off conditions than they already are. It's latest proposed tariff hike has been a crippling 15 percent.
The corruption at Eskom has been so rife that it has not been able to conduct simple maintenance of several coal-fired power stations across the country. As there are fewer and fewer power stations to provide electricity, the frequency of load-shedding increases. In what was stage 2 load-shedding a few days ago, today it has jumped to stage 4 load-shedding.
This announcement comes on the 29th anniversary of the late Nelson Mandela having been released from prison after close to three decades of imprisonment. Four years later, South Africa had it's first democratic elections. And so it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of South Africans who were told that their freedom had finally been won.
In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) a few days ago, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that Eskom would be unbundled into three separate entities so as to better manage it. But time will tell whether this will fix the current situation and get rid of the festering rot. For now, South Africans will become accustomed to the dark.
Infuriated South Africans on social media shared the following.