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Sweetch orf de geezas!

Can you believe the asinine, parochial, juvenile response of the government to one of the worst crises this country has ever faced?

Sweetch orf yo lights en de geezas.

That’s the official spokestwit’s response on Talk Radio 702!

Mines are stopping operations — stopping, not reducing, not downscaling, but stopping — just as the prices of gold and platinum head for record highs because of global demand for the precious metals. The economy is losing an estimated R2-billion a day — but remember to switch off your lights and geysers.

In government offices right this moment, air conditioners are roaring full blast and every power-rampant device is going full-tilt — but we must switch off the lights (hello, it’s daytime!) and switch off the geysers (like we haven’t been doing that for weeks already).

I blogged some time ago about not understanding each other and talking past each other. Well, if this isn’t the most telling example of criminal incompetence, I don’t know what is!

This has got to be the land alive with possibility. Our only hope now rests with the Proteas and Bafana Bafana. I’m going off to cook some earthworms and cockroaches over a candle …


  1. Kit Kit 25 January 2008

    Yeah, pretty dumb huh? The power rationing ideas are just fabulous as well. I have three children, two cats and a dog yet we use less power than almost anyone I know. The geyser is small and efficient and goes on for about 45 minutes a day, sometimes every other day in summer. I’m lazy so we eat a lot of salad…so very little cooking. Don’t get me started on the not-very-many-lights-and-seldom-on-anyway energy-saving lightbulbs (that incidentally may apparently cause migraines but we seem to have escaped). But somehow I need to save 10-20% on our already frugal lifestyles while my friends in Constantia and Sandton can floodlight and hot tub to their hearts’ content as their 10-20%% just means that on Tuesdays and Thursdays they’ll have to forego the hot tub and have a regular bath like the peasants. Except that it’s not in a bucket.

    Rant over though – I’ve got to (finally) give Eskom and the City of Cape Town (actually it’s probably them) credit for listening to the TELL US WHEN brigade. All our power cuts since the beginning of this week have been at the right advertised times as per the CCT’s website, something that is of more value than I can describe. My small business was starting to look a little shaky as my overseas client is still blissfully unaware of the situation here but I was increasingly looking like failure to deliver might be happening sometime soon. Thanks to sticking to schedules, I can now plan a morning nap and trip to the bank, an evening cold shower, homework-checking and reading the paper few hours, and get things done on time every time again.

    Come on, Eskom – we’re Safricans, we’re resourceful. Just TELL US WHEN and stick to it.

  2. Marcus Marcus 25 January 2008

    I was halfway through this article when the lights went out.

  3. Jon Jon 26 January 2008

    It was meant to be “power to the people”.

    Now it’s “power from the people”.

    Sounds like real-deal “transformation” to me, Llewellyn? The transformers will get bigger performance-bonuses, no doubt.

  4. Apocalypse Now Apocalypse Now 26 January 2008

    In a discussion on drive radio last night, the presenter clarified a question that’s been bugging me for ages

    Despite mines being closed down, the aluminium smelter at Richards Bay is operating full steam and it, (by itself), consumes more Eskom power than the WHOLE OF THE FREE-STATE!! They can’t turn off the smelters, as the aluminium would congeal and cause Rbillion’s of damage.

    School Geography teaches that bauxite is not mined in SA, but requires such large amounts of electricity that even countries that do mine it (like Australia), don’t process aluminium from the ore. SA is falling over itself to process bauxite, because it has a massive surplus and abundance if cheap coal powered electricity (yeh right!!). Add to this the Hulamin aluminium foil rolling mill in PMBurg (25% of PMB entire electricity supply) and the proposed centre piece Coega aluminium smelter and then ask – how many lights do we need to turn off before we begin to approach this largesse of Govt in beneficiating someone else’s ore while our mines (and labour) stand still

    Just to make you weekend. I work close to a large Govt building and have had only had 2 brief blackouts so far. A friend works in Pretoria (Tshwane whatever) and has had NO power cuts thus far. Seems our politicians and their deployed cadre functionaries are definitely more equal than everyone else (snort shnort!!).

    Would the last one to leave SA Planet of the Apes PLEASE switch off the remaining mercury laden efficient light

  5. Richard Richard 26 January 2008

    Ha ha ha ha. Ah you are my boy !! Hit the nail right on the head, well done. We need more guys like you in society, Keep up the good work and lets tell the real South African story

  6. Owen Owen 26 January 2008

    With the mines down we can expect lower tax revenues and hey that budget surplus has just disappeared.

    If we get above 0% growth this year I will be amazed.

    JZ is coming into power on a shrinking economy, what will he do, grasp it firmly so that he strangles it to death, hope not.

    If this ANC mess does not cost them at least 20% of their current share of the vote in 2009 we have no hope as a country.

  7. Alan Alan 27 January 2008

    It’s all the fault of the generator supply companies for not offering kickbacks as attractive as those of the arms dealers. Shame on them for not subscribing to the cherished ideals of black elite enrichment!

  8. Chayse Kriel Chayse Kriel 27 January 2008

    Congratulations Mr. Kriel tis indeed true and I hope you enjoy your cockroaches and worms because all im having is boogers on a stick seeing as my candles got stolen due to the high crime rate!!

  9. JP JP 27 January 2008

    South Africa is the most beautiful country in the world, with so many benefits that other counties can only dream of.

    An abundance of natural recouses such as GOLD (we are one of the worlds top producers), uranium (top producer), Dimonds, copper the list goes on.

    An abundance of wild life.

    Excellant farming lands.

    A decent supply of fresh water.

    And yet we live in darkness.

    How is it that pre 94 we could have sanctions, a multi-million dollar an day war, a corupt goverment (yes they to were corupt), and yet have one of the cheepests fuels in the world, first world infrastructure, surplus power, and a 15 % un-employment rate, and one of the lowest crime rates, and a very low number of people living in shacks.

    When today we have large amounts of foreign investment, a souring gold price, a booming tourism industry, no war, 6 times the budget,and yet we have a failing infrastructure, (its not just the electicity, its also our water, roads, harbours and rail networks that have fallen in dust) a 40% unemploymeny rate, a crime rate that makes living here more dangerous than living in a war zone.

    Where is the money going.

    goverment sponsered ANC birthday parties cost us over R 50 000 000.00 last year (thats the equvalant to 25 000 low cost houses.

    To support minister’s families over sea cost us R120 000 000.

    Parliment’s budget has been increased so much that it is now 6 times what it was in 1994 (remember this does not include MP’s salaries) we even have to pay for an MP’s spouses car now.

    Our fuel price has NOTHING to do with the oil price as most of our fuel is not made from oil, it has to do with goverment levies which now make up 45% of the fuel price.

    As for our future under Zuma well lets just say that his decistion to axe Trevor Manual (the only MP that is actually doing his job, and is rated as the best Finance minister in the world at the moment) is a clear indication of his regards towards the financial future of our beautiful land.

  10. Consulting Engineer Consulting Engineer 27 January 2008

    I can believe the response of the government as the ANC is the most asinine, parochial, juvenile government SA ever faced. As well as the most incompetent and corrupt.

    How can we switch of lights and geysers when load shedding has done it for us?

    Let’s rather switch off the ANC’s power and not vote for them. Rather we switch off the government and replace them with random beggars in the street. The intellect will be the same as well as the entitlement mentality. Beg for what you can, take the rest, and make comments about whitey being to blame.

    There is no hope for the Proteas and Bafana Bafana. Bafana is like no 62 in the world. Proteas will be ‘transformed’ to represent colour not Cricket. The Boks played their last rugby World Cup. Only their name must still be taken away. They can be PC and ‘representative’ but not in a World Cup. The All Blacks must be laughing their heads off. They dont have to win on the rugby pitch anymore. Our own government did the job for them.

  11. Gerry Gerry 28 January 2008

    Time to face the facts: certain government policies just are not working, and this is now finally tangibly evident, not just philosophically.
    This is the first hard evidence that the powers that be have a serious re-think about how they run our precious country, which at this moment in time is “into the ground”. The ANC has had unwavering support for its time as an unbanned party, but unless it restores power to the people, they may just find themselves shockingly on the wrong side of a ballot paper.
    People can live with poor service delivery (how else do you explain the near two-thirds majority in the last election?), people can live with lots of crap, but this is the first time people actually had something taken away from them – as opposed to just not given – and this is a big oops.
    This is strike no 1 against the ANC, and what happens if through the same incompetence and lies we start to lose water, sewerage, rubbish removal, diesel? We are on a slow, slippery backward slope, and the ground can be regained, but I’m afraid that in the ANC don’t alter their tune, and soon, they may be on the way out.
    People only care about struggle credentials and freedom when that struggle and freedom actually gives them freedom. When that freedom is taken away, even the staunchest loyalists will re-think.
    Or am I being naive?

  12. Keith Downs Keith Downs 2 March 2008

    Switch orf the geezahs and also the new magic bullet is the fluorescent energy saving light bulb. Like the flimsy cloth masks that were issued by the Macmillan government in the early fifties in response to the great pollution of London that was caused by power stations such as Batersea. The crisis caused the loss of a few thousand lives, and the UK government issued the masks in order to convince the populace that it was doing something when it actually did not have any solutions. The bulbs may save energy but rolling out millions of them to townships will create a serious environmental hazard. These lamps contain not only phosphorous, but an appreciable amount of mercury to make the neon gas electrically conductive. In most other countries the disposal of these lamps is governed by stringent laws. The phosphorous causes cuts that do not heal and the mercury gets into the environment and causes impotence and birth defects and all.
    The government have not even considered this aspect in their panic to roll out the new lamps and ban the evil incandescent lamps that are obviously responsible for all of our problems.

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