You may know that your humble blogger lives in a town called Port Elizabeth in South Africa. If you have diligently followed the various facets of history of virtually every country in Africa, you will be able to draw similarities between them – as well as the precarious path on which the South African government is currently meandering. Afro-optimists will put forward reasons why South Africa won’t degenerate to the point of say, Zimbabwe or why there won’t be the same kind of genocide as occurred between the Hutu and the Tutsi tribes in Rwanda and surrounds; but I’m not going to get into that right now because I want to discuss a significantly weightier subject than all that death, pillaging, general mayhem and stuff.
You know that a country has all but collapsed when a chap can’t put up an Old Master and misinterpret it with an appropriate (or inappropriate, as the case may be) caption of his choice. Apart from being an enormous inconvenience to his Loyal Readers (yes, I love both of you), it’s patently interfereing with the aforementiond fellow’s freedom of speech.
With incompetence that is on a galactic scale, the South African state power supply ‘company’, Eskom has forced us into a situation where we are teetering on the brink of a national power grid collapse and a total blackout (yes, you read that correctly, no power for the whole country!!). Should this happen, they tell us it could take weeks to ‘reboot’ the grid. You can read more on this in a multitude of technical and news articles – if you want to.
In an attempt to prevent this from happening, Eskom have unilaterally decided to switch off parts of the country at various times, for varying lengths of time. For example, two days ago, our group of suburbs were without power for eleven and a half hours; but mostly it is from two to four hours at a time. To help us treat the whole thing in a lighthearted maner, they publish online schedules so that we tax-paying citizens can plan for these outages. They never stick to these schedules, of course, but they give South Africans a giggle and generally serve as a reminder when to take their anti-depressants.
As you intelligent readers will realise, it is not only the unreliable power that causes consternation, but the associated and consequent impact on all other spheres of existence. We also have water restrictions due to high demand on old dams and a fuel shortage; I have been turned away from two filling stations where there is simply no petrol. These crises could have been averted by having competent people in decision-making positions.
How does this affect you, you ask? Well, your weakly (and weekly) Old Mastger post has been delayed by the lack of internet access. Today’s post is coming to you via cupped hand and a digital messenger-tortoise called Vodacrap. Their ‘service’ offering is so appalling, that posting an image is simply not doable. I am within sight of their tower antenna and the best they can do is EDGE speed. Younger readers in first world countries may need to Google what EDGE speed is. It is generally measured in “bits-per-hour”, rather than megabits per second.
Whenever possible, I will post an Old Master, or an update. Hopefully normal service will resume before I go on pension. Thank you for your patience.