A man in the know speaks

There’s no doubting that SA is in a bad place at the moment regarding its power supply. Years of corruption, mismanagement and poor maintenance have left us in a deep hole. What I didn’t know was quite how deep.
Fortunately(?), expert Chris Yelland has now filled us all in.
(The hole, however, remains very much unfilled.)

1. SA is out of diesel
2. Pumped storage dams low
3. No power from Mozambique (2 lines down)
4. 5000 MW (8 generator units) down due to boiler tube leaks
5. Three units running but with boiler tube leaks
6. Other unplanned outages

and on point 3:

Both HVDC lines (1420 km, total capacity 1400 MW) from the Cahora Bassa hydro plant between Tsongo substation in Mozambique & Apollo substation in Gauteng are down due to the tropical cyclone. Damaged lines inaccessible, Extent of damage unknown. Time to restore lines unknown.

Oh dear. About as bad as it could get then.

Chris has also come up with a 6 point plan to try to help us climb out of the hole: click here for curated thread, which no-one with any authority will pay any attention to. This attitude is at least some of the reason we’re in this mess already.

TSROD understandably making gains

Further to my post yesterday and my ongoing and increasing disillusionment with anything political, be it British, European or South African, this fits so nicely.

 

To be honest, the only reason that TSROD isn’t sweeping the board is that it’s clearly a new option which people haven’t considered before.
If you offered the average man individual on the street The Sweet Release Of Death, they’d likely politely turn you down.

It’s only when you offer them the choice between The Sweet Release Of Death and any of the political parties on offer that TSROD suddenly becomes such an attractive option.

And that’s completely understandable.

 

image credit: the brilliant General Boles

Fed up with Brexit

I am. And I’m not even very involved.
(More involved than some people think (bless him and his little army), but still…)

I’m fed up with the mess that it’s made of politics, the economy, the people and the news.

I’m fed up with the drama llamas on both sides, of the constant wailing and gnashing of teeth of the Remainers and the blinkered stiff-upper-lipism of the Leavers.

I’m fed up of either side twisting any given news story to somehow suit their narrative.

I’m fed up with people expecting their elected MP to listen to their specific viewpoint rather than that of their electorate. Can you imagine if the vote had gone the other way and yet the Government had still gone ahead with leaving the EU? Because that’s pretty much the equivalent of saying that the referendum shouldn’t count. You don’t get to keep trying until you get the result you were hoping for.

I didn’t get to vote in the 2016 referendum: I wouldn’t have been able to anyway: I was on the beach in Mauritius when it all happened. Shame.
But for the record, I would have voted to remain*. And that means that I would have been on the losing side too. Bummer.

Because yes, democracy is great until people don’t choose the option you wanted them to. And step forward that old “but there was so much disinformation, so many broken promises!” chestnut. Well, sadly that’s politics. It’s crap, but show me any political campaign that’s been entirely truthful; any manifesto to which the party in question has kept. It simply doesn’t happen, and yes, maybe (some of) those voting to leave were naive enough to be seduced, much in the same way that you likely were (subconsciously or otherwise) whenever you last voted for anyone**.

Some of the stuff that I’ve heard from bitter Remainers has had very little to do with the truth as well. This breaking news, just in: Not everything is about you. Not everything is about Brexit.

Perhaps the one redeeming feature of Jeremy “the scruffy communist” Corbyn is that he was also going to follow through on the result of the  democratic vote if he were ever elected [laughs in that’s not going to happen]. Kinda weird for him not to take the low-hanging populist fruit, but still…

And one other thing that has struck me about this whole thing is that while the EU “respects” the UK referendum result, there’s very much a Hotel California vibe in their “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave” message to the rest of the EU, probably brought about by some other close polls in other countries.

While I believe in some benefits of the EU, holding it up as some sort of bastion of freedom and honesty is clearly misplaced. It’s every bit as rotten and hypocritical as any other political organisation. If you choose to overlook that simply because it suits your argument, then expect short shrift from me.

In fact, don’t expect much from me at all if your day seems to consist solely of stuff about Brexit. No matter which side you’re on.
Yes, I’m aware that it’s important. I’m aware that it’s current. I’m aware that you’re not very happy.

It’s just that I’m totally and utterly fed up with Brexit.

 

* thus alienating half my readers immediately, because you’re not allowed to like people from “the other side”, just like when you were 5 years old in the school playground. Analogy very deliberate. 

** But of course not. Because you would never allow that to happen to you, would you? That’s something that only happens to other people. Not you. Right. Ok then. 

 

Call me cynical

Some few facts for you to help make up your mind on whether I’m being cynical here:

Fact 1:
Eskom, our national power utility, a state-owned enterprise, has been run into the ground by mismanagement and corruption under the ANC government. Mainly (entirely?) because of these reasons, it cannot produce enough power to supply the country and so we – fairly regularly – have rolling blackouts. This is called loadshedding. I have written about it a lot.
The first significant loadshedding of 2019 began yesterday and looks like it will continue all week.

Fact 2:
We’ve got an election coming up in the next couple of months (exact date still TBC May 8th, see below). We stay in DA-controlled Cape Town, in the DA-controlled Western Cape. All the other 8 provinces are governed by the ruling ANC.
There is (obviously) a lot of talk about the election at the moment. It’s safe to say that it’s probably among the Top 5 things that people in SA are aware of right now. Front of mind then.

Fact 3:
The (DA-controlled, remember) City of Cape Town has a hydroelectric facility which it can use in times of electricity shortage to mitigate the effects of loadshedding. And it does use this facility, nearly every time there’s loadshedding.

But – how odd – it isn’t using it this time around. 

So, the cynic in me is suggesting that the DA is using this opportunity to remind the people of Cape Town just what ANC rule has done for the country.
And yes, I’ll be sitting in darkness from 8pm this evening thinking about exactly that. But just a bit of me will be wondering if it could have been different if the DA had not wanted to make a point.

Cynical? Hmmm.

 

UPDATE: This:

Indeed.

Which is exactly what they would say, of course.

UPDATE 2: And this:

Which is exactly what he would say, of course.

Thank you to my correspondents and their corrections.

Accurate

The state of politics in this country is every bit as bad as the state of politics elsewhere.

Equally, the quality of the media in this country is every bit as poor as the quality of media elsewhere.

It doesn’t make for a pretty scenario. We’re left drifting rudderless with no compass to guide us. But when the sniping of one at another begins, it does make for some wonderful soundbites.

Local political party, the EFF, is known for its hyperbole, grandiose language and wild claims. Its recently released manifesto was a great example of all three of the above and was (apparently, at least) taken to task by local journo Rebecca Davis. No, I haven’t read this particular article, for reasons detailed below.

In fairness to the EFF, their manifesto is probably only a little more pie-in-the-sky than that of any other political party running any other election campaign. But that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be called out on any  (alleged) inaccuracies it might contain.

EFF deputy clown Floyd Shivambu paraphrases Ali G in his predictable “it iz becoz she iz white, innit?” response:

She accuses the manifesto of being a dishonest document. But in reality, she is the one who is being dishonest, because the people’s manifesto and a clear detailed plan of action has details such that it is the first of its kind, something even Davis has not seen in a manifesto. She’s blinded by class and possibly racist prejudices which seek to provide a critique before she reads and understands.

But Davis has some friends who are black, so I’m pretty sure this can’t be true.

Indeed, I don’t agree with very much that the EFF spout, but this line hit home.

Pitiful, whatever. Abysmal, la di dah.

But “claptrap disguised as analysis” sums up SO VERY MUCH of what is written in the SA (or in worldwide) media these days. And yes, I’m aware that some of you might feel that this blog post falls neatly into that category as well, but I’m not being paid for this, so you probably shouldn’t have been expecting any level of professionalism like what you might get from a journalist.

Sadly, standards (especially locally) have fallen so far that everything one reads in the local press should probably be regarded as incorrect until proven otherwise.

Political manifestos should always be taken with a pinch of salt. It’s sad that any given story you read on any given news site these days has to be treated the same way.

In my humble opinion you’re probably best staying well clear of either.