The Racial Rapture at Eskom.
You know what the rapture theory is, don’t you? It is the belief that some Christians hold that there will be a “secret rapture” upon the return of Jesus Christ to this earth.
According to this theory, Jesus would return with no warning at all, upon which all true Christians will be suddenly removed to join Him in heaven – yanked away so that their clothes will fall to the ground because their bodies will be gone.
Bad luck if you’re an atheist flying on a jet that has a Christian pilot. Suddenly the captain and all the Christians will vanish, and only the atheists and believers of false religions will be left to plunge screaming to their death.
Cars will crash as drivers vanish, mothers will become hysterical as their babies vanish from their arms, and patients will die as surgeons suddenly disappear, leaving only scalpel and tongs inside a bleeding wound.
This is unscriptural nonsense, of course. But it is nevertheless believed by many. I had to mention it, however, because it explains somewhat that has happened at Eskom over the years.
My laundry man used to hold a financial position at Megawatt Park – the corporate headquarters of South Africa’s gigantic national power company – Eskom.
After South Africa’s 1994 elections, he told me, he began to observe a curious phenomenon that reminded in a bizarre way of the rapture.
People began to quietly vanish from the lower floors of the Eskom buildings. One day they’d be pushing brooms or making tea, and the next they would just be gone. When he asked what had become of the lady, he would be told that she had been promoted to a senior position on one of the higher floors.
It was truly baffling. The more so, however, when he observed that the only ones that were disappearing, were black people. It was truly as if they were being systematical raptured. A racial rapture of alarming proportions.
This baffling phenomenon continued until one day even the receptionist vanished. When he asked where she was, he was told that she had been made a senior manager on a higher floor.
This process of promoting people with no management skills to management positions continued over the course of years. At the same time, white people were systematically being motivated, pressured and told to leave as fast as the elevators were taking their replacements to the top storeys.
And that is how Eskom’s financial professional became a laundry man while the receptionist became an executive. He was asked to leave on account of his whiteness, upon which he took his severance pay and opened a laundry business in my suburb.
All of this might have remained just a curious social anecdote except for one critical result. More than 20 years later, Eskom has fallen into a state of such catastrophic disrepair that the entire country of South Africa is now experiencing rolling blackouts on a daily basis.
This morning our town was 2 hours without power, and as far as I understand, we’re due for another 2 hours of blackout later today. I walked through town and generators were buzzing everywhere. What had only ever happened in the Congo and Sudan and Mozambique had quietly become a part of daily life in South Africa. On and off, this has been going on for a long time now.
With up to six coal powered stations largely out of action at the same time, South Africa’s energy situation is in a state of fatal disaster. This stands in stark contrast from the days when Eskom blue chip shares were hotter than the sun, and power failure at even a single plant was something utterly unknown to industry.
The explanations that analysts offer are so shocking that they are hard to believe. Some annalists report that a billion Rand had been paid to the Guptas for coal to Eskom, and not one ton of it was ever delivered.
They report that oceans of money have been leaving Eskom’s bank accounts and vanishing into the pockets of the nouveau riche of South Africa. Those post-revolutionary Marxist cadres who were rewarded with high-powered corporate positions after the national handover.
They also predict that Eskom is facing certain insolvency within a year.
Eskom itself is taking action which appears to be amounting to blackmailing of the government and the economy, unless huge energy price hikes (45% over the next four years) are allowed and unless the government provides billions of Rands in bailouts.
There are now those who believe that not only is power supply vanishing because of infrastructure failure, but also because those failures are engineered so that the country can be pressured into yielding to tariff increase demands.
Other reasons that analysts provide include:
- Disastrous mismanagement.
- Debt that increased from R4 billion in 2008 to R40 billion in 2018.
- Long term poor- or close to non-existent maintenance.
- No replacement of ageing infrastructure.
- Over-staffing and over-payment on a scale that can only be described as gigantic.
- Corruption on a scale that boggles the mind.
- Lack of skills and expertise due to the racial rapture effect.
- Poor morale, lack of motivation and a fatal lack of productivity.
- Militant presence of trade unions.
- Problems with reliable coal supply.
- Problems with low quality coal which creates many technical problems within plants – and this from a country that produces some of the best quality coal in the world.
There are more problems but these seem to summarize some of the highlights that constantly make the news.
In the meantime, we have been told that we should get used to rolling blackouts as a way of life for the long term. Opinions are expressed that this will be the norm for years to come, unless dramatic change is implemented.
These are not the predictions of fringe fanatics but of mainstream analysts. Respected financial institutions and industry watch organization.
I suppose a partial return to the Victorian era won’t kill us. But it will definitely injure us. And it shows to the world clearly what the deadly effect of socialism is. Even in countries that once held performance levels that easily compared with the best in the world.