When one sits in the dark because of load shedding it tends to get the thought processes going. One gets angry and starts reflecting on our country. The fact that I am sitting in the dark focuses my attention on Eskom our parastatal  power generating entity.

Let us try and see why Eskom is in the state it is. In twenty years it has regressed from a highly efficient economical producer of electricity to the sorry state it is in today. There are many causes for this. The exodus of skilled staff because of the BEE policy. This has led to the collapse of the planned maintenance programs that are necessary to keep places like this running efficiently. The excuse given that the plants are outdated and obsolete is quite frankly nonsense. Most big factories in the world keep them running by a planned maintenance schedule.They are kept in new condition by the replacement of critical parts at given times. Eskom run their plants until they break with dire consequences for the individual and the country as a whole.

On the financial side Eskom is in a mess. They are indebted to the government for some R60 billion and they are going to be given another R23 billion. In the normal world they would be considered bankrupt and would go into liquidation. This of course will never happen.One of the excuses given is that they are now supplying electricity to more people. I accept this but are these “more people” actually paying for it. The answer is no and many people are stealing electricity by using illegal pirate connections. Theft and non payment of bills has caused many institutions to fail and why should Eskom be different.

My other pet hate is Telkom. They also have wasted billions. They are the suppliers of a very inefficient product. With the internet connection that I have, 4Mbps, it sometimes runs as low as 1.22Mbps download and 0.44Mbps upload. It drops frequently and is very frustrating trying to get anything done.

There are other institutions such as SAA and Transnet which are costing the taxpayer billions but I will not go there.

The cost of crime and corruption is horrendous to say the least. Corruption is said to be costing the country about R30 billion per year. We have a corrupt police force. Do you trust a policeman?                                                                 

Visit this website:

Some rather sobering crime stats for you. Sadly I do not believe they are correct.

Crime Stats Simplified
Did You Know?
• More people murdered in Nyanga (Western Cape) than anywhere else in the country.
• Over One hundred and Sixty OneThousand people murdered in South Africa since 2004
• 47% of all drug related crime in the country occur in the Western Cape.
• 5900 crimes are reported by the SAPS everyday day!
• Over 43 people murdered on average everyday in South Africa.
• The world average for murder is 7.6 per 100 000 people. Murder in South Africa is 36.5 per 100 000.
• Honduras stats show that 60.9 people are murdered per 100 000. Thats nearly twice as many as South Africa!!
• “Crime expands according to our willingness to put up with it.”
– Farber, Barry J.
• “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
• It`s been estimated that SA has lost R650-billion to corruption over the last 18 years.
• More than 2 million crimes were reported by the SAPS for the twelve months between 2010/2012.
• Nearly 16000 people were murdered in SA in the twelve months between 2011/2012.
• KZN is the highest murder province in South Africa. Then the Eastern Cape followed by Gauteng .
• Over 400 drug related crimes reported daily.
• Mitchells Plain in the Western Cape reports  more crime than any other precinct in the country.
• There are 29 different crime categories used by the SAPS for reporting crime stats.
• There are about 1118 precincts (police stations) in South Africa.

Aids situation. South Africa has the highest HIV infection rate in the world which is some 5.6 million infected individuals. This is about 10% of our population. We also have the highest new infection rate in the world. When Cyril Ramaphosa our deputy president stands up in parliament and says those with eyes should see and those with ears hear when trying to say how well the country was progressing missed the point. A survey done at the university in Durban revealed that about 27% of the students knew nothing about Aids. Obviously the publicity campaign has failed as it would appear that our people do not have eyes and ears.

I have once again painted a very dismal picture of our country which troubles me greatly. I believe the problem starts at our number 1 citizen and until that is sorted out I have difficulty in seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. South Africa remains an enigma. We have the best in the world and also the worst in the world. We need to get rid of the worst.

Do you see a light at the end of the tunnel??

Butch Hannan

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