Gwede Mantashe is right, Eskom 2.0 is our only option for the future
If it is to work, Eskom 2.0 must harness the energy of our great politicians, who are by far some of the most electric beings on the planet. This is the only way forward for our country.
Dear Mr President,
I trust this email finds your chakras in perfect alignment.
I recently came across an article that reported that you might be considering establishing a new Eskom to make up for the spectacular failure in keeping the existing one as functional and profitable as it once was. Upon reading this, like many South Africans, I was rather sceptical. I catastrophised, imaging the worst-case scenarios, and the whole thing put me into a funk.
As I often do when an event knocks my chakras out of their natural alignment, I booked a realignment session with my biofield tuning practitioner to fix my body’s electrical system. It was during that session that I had something of an epiphany and realised that perhaps I needed to decolonise my thinking, detach from established knowledge systems, and be part of the solution rather than a kak-stirring wannabe journalist.
As the practitioner waved her tuning fork over my third eye chakra, I suddenly realised that it was no accident that one of my favourite ’90s movies, The Matrix, came out in 1999 just a few months after the white paper came out warning that Eskom would not generate enough electricity to supply the nation’s energy needs past 2007. The answer to our problems was right there in the movie, and I believe that done right, Eskom 2.0 can be its realisation.
I’m not sure if you’ve seen this prophetic piece of cinematic art, but according to the movie’s plot, the machines that will rule the planet in the future figured out what we already know, that the human body is an incredible source of renewable energy. The machines then went on to use humans as renewable batteries to supply their energy needs. Indeed, according to current studies, “the average human, at rest, produces around 100 watts of power. Over periods of a few minutes, humans can comfortably sustain 300-400 watts; and in the case of very short bursts of energy, such as sprinting, some humans can output over 2,000 watts.”
Hear me out Mr President, humans are the future of Eskom 2.0. Forget whatever it is we did before because it obviously is not working. Let us be inspired by the vision presented in The Matrix and put our most electric South Africans to work generating energy for their fellow citizens. Call it Ubuntu energy, Ubunergy®.
Come to think of it, this presents a unique opportunity for our politicians to make their most valuable contribution yet. I have witnessed no more energetic South Africans than our best paid public servants. Let us do a test run by harnessing the electricity that flows through them for a proof-of-concept Ubunergy® grid. Surely the energy that sustains a Busi Mkhwebane in her battle against the forces of good governance could light up a thousand homes. Think about it.
For some of us, allegations of corruption writ large on the public stage would lead to extreme anxiety and possibly a heart attack, yet the likes of Ace Magashule display chill vibes and an enviable youthful vigour. I saw that video of the two of you at Comrade Duarte’s funeral and you seemed uncharacteristically electrified by his handshake. Let’s put his bottomless well of Ubunergy® to good use. The energy it takes to sustain public life as Masta Ace could surely power a geyser or two.
Never mind the 2,000 watts that could be generated by sprinting, the energy generated by the mental gymnastics it takes to tweet as Helen Zille could provide enough power to charge the nation’s smartphones for a whole week. Although she no longer dances and twists like she did last Zuma, I think we could pull her out of retirement for a cause such as this.
And of course, there’s the man himself, our national disciplinarian, Gwede Mantashe; a walking, breathing energy storage system if there ever was one. The watts of Ubunergy® that are stored in his body would make rolling blackouts a thing of the past. Call him Generator Mantashe if you will.
What of Julius Malema’s incredible ability to teleport between heated issues at just the right time to catch the news cameras? He is, without a doubt, one of the most Ubunergetic® politicians in our land. I’m sure you’ll recall the historic, albeit non-consequential, Clicks boycott of September 2020. Malema generated so much electricity that month that hypertensive South Africans put aside their prescriptions and refused to enter a Clicks pharmacy for a whole day. In my opinion, he should probably change his stage name to Julius Megawatt. The amount of electricity he generates would most probably break my biofield tuner’s tuning fork. Let’s not waste it. Plug that one straight into the Eskom 2.0 grid immediately!!!
Even would-be batteries that once showed great potential, such as the Maimanes and De Lilles, could be tested to see if they have a few hundred watts in them to power our televisions during rolling blackouts. Who knows, plug them into Generator Mantashe and they might surprise us and turn out to be a rechargeable Ubunergy® source?
Admittedly, not all politicians will get the honour of serving our people in this way. Some low-energy types should probably take on the admin tasks. Steenhuisen and Holomisa come to mind. I worry those two don’t have enough Ubunergy® to light up a simple LED bulb, but there is something very clerk-y about them, which the new grid will certainly need.
Personally, as I have recently moved to a cute hamlet in the Eastern Cape where blackouts are no match for our usual days-long power outages, my energy needs go far beyond those of urban South Africans. Hence, if I could choose my own Ubunergy® source, I would truly appreciate it if I could request Lindiwe Sisulu as my renewable rechargeable battery. What a spark that one is! Considering the way she lit up our country with a few careless strokes of her keyboard earlier this year, if properly harnessed, her Ubunergy® could supply decolonised power for an entire municipality.
I hope you will consider this proposal my dear president. I would put together a spreadsheet and maybe a graph or two with some future projections as to how this whole thing could work, but best to keep things decolonised and steer clear of non-indigenous tools and systems. Renewable Ubunergy® is the future, and with enough tenders and kickbacks – no more than usual – our politician batteries could really make a difference and leave a lasting legacy. We could liberate the country’s energy from the failed colonial systems and make it truly indigenous.
As a queer person of colour, albeit an unfashionably cisgendered one, I hold in my heart a fondness for the ANC of bygone days, the liberation movement that did so much to guarantee the freedoms I enjoy today. Sadly, I’m not as fond of the governing ANC, but that’s another topic for another day. Nonetheless, an Ubunergy® powered Eskom 2.0 presents a great opportunity for your organisation to remember what it once was as it goes back to its liberation roots and liberates our energy supply from Eskom 1.0.
This is the way, I can feel it in my root chakra, and so can my biofield tuner’s tuning fork. I’m a huge believer in failing upwards, but surely an Ubunergy® powered South Africa is a far more realistic idea than imagining that the very same people who ran a functional and profitable Eskom into the ground could successfully build a new one from the ground up. I have little doubt that you would agree that the plot of The Matrix is a far more believable possibility for our future.
In case you missed it, also read Gwede Mantashe is the disciplinarian South Africa needs