By Themba Khumalo

There is an easy but dangerous game that visionless leaders love to play – the blame game. When the smelly brown stuff hits the fan, spreading unbearable stench, a clueless leader always chooses the easiest thing in the world – pointing fingers and finding all kinds of faults with their predecessors.
Well, why burden yourself with an unnecessary task called responsibility, for a bad state of affairs when you can always blame others? Why cause yourself the inconvenience of owning up to your blunders and inadequacies that might be contributing to a terrible situation?
Hey, nothing is as fulfilling to dimwits who have no clue which way is up, than firing off their mouths blaming everyone before them, instead of coming up with solutions.
Tell the world how bad the previous chaps were and voila, the problem disappears. Well, the truth is the problem grows bigger because the numbskull has no real solution.
Regrettably, this unhealthy idea to blame others as an alternative to accountability has become a major part of our so-called leaders. It has embedded itself in the genes of our culture.
When it comes to government and that moribund entity called Eskom, the blame game is on steroids.
When a president, a minister and a CEO, together with the board of directors, throw their dirty hands in the air and blame state capture for the screw-ups at Eskom, they are unwittingly telling us: “Hey, we are in the dark and it’s not our fault. It’s completely out of our control and that’s why we must find somebody or something to blame.”
We are no longer interested in listening to blundering and inept people using state capture as a scapegoat. They are super schmucks to think we will fall for the truckload of bull manure that we are experiencing the worst load shedding since 2019 because of state capture – the infamous nine wasted years. Do they also think we are blockheads who will believe their claptrap about some imaginary sabotage and labour disputes for failing to keep the lights on? Granted, the old man from KwaDakwadunuse, who responds to the name Jacob Zuma and his curry-dishing Guptas behaved like kids in a toy shop, but President Cyril Ramaphosa, Pravin Gordhan, the board and executives at Eskom have thus far failed to craft and implement a proper turnaround strategy.
A rage that nearly cut oxygen supply to my brain surged when Ramaphosa spoke up for the bungling Eskom board and executives by blaming policy slipups and the effects of state capture for the recurrent load shedding. Ramaphosa’s disingenuity is nauseating. In all his high-minded mouthings, never once has he mentioned the function he performed when Zuma delegated him the duty to be in charge of the Eskom war room back in 2015. If your mind is not blocked by factionalist attitudes and hero-worshipping, you might remember that Zuma entrusted Ramaphosa with the responsibility of overseeing the improvement of Eskom in what was branded the war room. The imaginary war room comprised of Eskom, National Treasury, Public Enterprises, Department of Water and Sanitation, Department of Energy, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the Department of Economic Development, as well as technocrats. Their function was to examine Eskom’s short and long-term power challenges. I am truly curious to understand how a man who was elaborately involved in operations that were purposed to salvage Eskom from its crisis failed to foresee that the power utility was post-haste making its way to a crippling load shedding period.
My uninformed take is that he is too timid to admit that they played a finger wringing game instead of coming up with solutions. Today, with his cleverly worded public statements he wants us to believe that he is shocked by what is going on at Eskom. Their amazing skill at playing the blame game has made them lose focus on overhauling the problematic Eskom. They must move out of the field of blame game which they use to try and convince us that all is under control. Eskom has been struggling, severely, in the past weeks to keep the lights on, blaming plant failures, labour disputes and the infamous maintenance logjam, and financial troubles. Eskom Chief Executive Officer Andre de Ruyter who has been in charge for over two years, has thus far presided over cycles of missed targets to stabilise the utility’s performance. The less said about the weepy board the better. They were tasked with turning Eskom’s fortunes around and they have failed colossally. De Ruyter and the board have failed to bring any bit of improvement, excluding, of course, reducing debt through massive retrenchments.

It’s time to go
In an article published by the Black Business Council (BBC) expressed concern about the negative impact and the risk load shedding has on the country’s economic recovery. Kganki Matabane, BBC CEO said: “The continuous rolling blackouts and load-shedding by André Marinus de Ruyter, including moving the country to stage six, giving a plethora of excuses, is unacceptable for a struggling economy trying to recover from the impact of Covid-19.
“Until and unless our government, as shareholders, takes the drastic steps to remove the incompetent management and inadequate Board of Eskom, who have time to come with laughable excuses such as continuously blaming state capture instead of solving the electricity generation challenges, the country must forget about any prospect of economic recovery. “Our beloved country is becoming a laughing stock of the world and a failing state due to lack of political will to hold those who are paid to provide reliable electricity to account. We call upon President Ramaphosa to do the right thing if he does not want to be remembered as the President who brought our economy to its knees.”
Any idiot with barely enough brains to fill a teaspoon would know that electricity deficits in general have a negative impact on the economy. So, it is no overreaction to ask De Ruyter and the Eskom board of directors vacate Megawatt Park. As for the governing party which failed foresee how demand for electricity would grow as areas that were neglected got connected to the grid, 2024 is around the corner.
These rowdy and uncouth leaders showed Eskom engineers the middle finger in 1998 when they warned of the shrinking reserve capacity and the need to plot for growing electricity demand.
The engineers’ request for government to commit to build for more capacity was thrown out the window.
The ANC has been reckless and shown a massive lack of foresight. We will no longer avail ourselves to be shafted without the benefit of protection.

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