TONGUE IN CHEEK
ANC cadres couldn’t tolerate the competent load shedding man, so they fired him
This hard-nosed worker did his job with reliable precision, whereas his replacement is causing a shambles.
Have you noticed that even the load shedding man has become grossly incompetent since the appointment of Kgosientsho Ramokgopa as Minister of Electricity? I wonder if this is a result of Ramokgopa reshuffling the previous load shedding man and replacing him with a deployee from Loothuli House?
Mind you, competence is hardly tolerated in those corridors. There, if you harbour any dreams of a long career in the civil service and you want to stay out of trouble, you never adopt competence as one of your attributes. Just ask Mosebenzi Zwane…
If you remember, before the appointment of this man Ramokgopa, whom many doubt can even change a lightbulb, there was no person, entity or department under the sun as punctual and clinical as the load shedding man.
Some say it was a woman because of the clinical manner in which the blackouts blow was delivered daily, without fail, to anyone – church, school, shebeen, brothel…
When the load shedding schedule said such and such, an area would be plunged into darkness at such an hour; it happened at exactly that particular time. Nine o’clock was nine o’clock. Not even 30 seconds after the hour. No, the moment the clock struck nine, right on the hour, the load shedding man struck.
Now, let’s be honest, when last have you witnessed such competence in this country … if it can still be called that?
The highly competent and ruthless one
The other night, after yet another display of gross incompetence by the load shedding man, I was actually wondering whether it wouldn’t make perfect sense to appoint the previous load shedding man; yes, the punctual one, the highly competent and ruthless one, to the position of Electricity Minister?
Our alleged country can do with such a work ethic in these trying times. Not sure if it’s just me, but it seems we have lost that work ethic, that spirit of competence and pride in whatever we do. City park cleaners no longer cut the grass as immaculately as it was done before, street sweepers no longer work with enthusiasm, even the police can hardly take down a statement or arrest a pickpocket. It’s a shambles.
I mean even criminals are no longer as competent and creative. They resort to violence in the slightest moment; just too violent, man. They shoot to kill even for a mere cellphone. Even looters are no longer slick, nor do they care about being caught.
In the past, there was this thing of stealing from public coffers with a spoon and not a shovel, lest you attract unnecessary attention that will eventually get you caught. But this current generation of looters don’t even care to use a spade – they bring an entire wheel loader to carry their loot.
Anyway, this matter of the incompetent load shedding man is causing me a lot of worriation. I mean, these days we plan our lives around this ANC-made phenomenon. If the schedule says the lights will go out at nine o’clock, then we plan around that.
But guess what? The grossly incompetent load shedding moegoe switches off the power 10 minutes later. Sometimes even after 18 minutes.
If that’s not incompetence then I don’t know what is. Imagine planning to take a nap at 9am and then 10 minutes later your TV and radio are still on? How does the load shedding man expect us to rest?
Imagine the power is scheduled to be restored at 10am. But just three minutes before the hour, the power is restored.
Even my uneducated mind tells me that’s unconstitutional. The state must keep its promises to the citizenry. Ten o’clock must be nothing but.
It reminds me of those times, back in the day, when I commuted by train every weekday morning. This was the early 1990s, when the ANC was still a liberation movement led by miserly looking comrades fresh from the bushes of Angola.
It’s how they roll, these cadres
Hell, in those days the train timetable was just like the weather report. The weatherman will always tell you the day will be partly cloudy with isolated thundershowers, even when it’s blistering hot with no cloud in sight. Well, that’s what the train timetable was like back then.
The trains were hardly ever on time and, if they arrived on time, they hardly ever got to their destination on schedule.
It is possible Ramokgopa could have been persuaded to replace the previous load shedding man with the person who plans President Cyril Ramaphosa’s public addresses. A Ramaphosa public address scheduled for 7pm only gets under way two hours later, without fail. It’s how they roll, these cadres.
I guess Ramaphosa’s office just couldn’t stomach the idea of being outdone by a tjatjarag load shedding man with greasy overalls, hence the reshuffling?
But as I sit here in the dark, writing this by candlelight in my 72-page black hardcover notebook, my heart goes out to the former load shedding man. Each time the lights go off much later than scheduled, I think of this very competent man. Where is he now, why was he sacked, will we ever have him back? Ai, kubuhlungu nkosi yam… DM
Mr Styles is the former president of the Organisation for Stylish People of South Africa (Osposa). He is against anything and anyone unstylish.
This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper, which is available countrywide for R29.