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Monday, bloody Monday

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Monday, bloody Monday

by Petro Kotze
13 Dec 2007
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

Mondays are not called blue for no reason. But, as many Capetonians can attest, yesterday had a particularly dark colour to it. Maybe because where your usual Mondays have a light at the end of the dark tunnel, this week's light was abruptly snuffed out and unceremoniously sent to the dark side.

t was eaten up by that massive thorn in South Africa's side: The Mighty Load Shedding Monster.

This animal is a many faceted, multi-personality phenomenon.

Son of a superpower, Eskom's birth-child not only highlights the absolute monarch's strengths and weaknesses, but also those of its loyal customers, because as much as we loathe it, we can obviously not do without Eskom.

A perfect example is the newspaper you are holding in your hands. Reduced to pencil and paper, People's Post had to put up a bloody battle to survive this edition. In fact, it had to be uprooted from the homely Tokai offices and shipped off to the city bowl, where the pages were finished in the early hours of the morning.

Talk about revenge.

Yesterday Eskom almost managed to reduce some of its staunchest critics - the media - to a humble heap of watery tears. The sudden ironic line in a famous song from The Smiths suddenly has new meaning: "Sweetness, sweetness I was only joking when I said, I'd like to smash every tooth in your head."

But admittedly, as loudly as I am complaining now, when I wake up tomorrow I will probably let all my house lights burn simultaneously while cranking the radio to full volume to hear it above the noise of the hair-dryer.

As I sit and type this from the Media24 head offices in the city centre, Adderley Street in all its jolly glory winks from down below. On the other side sits a massive, seemingly empty building, lights glaring from every window. I catch myself wondering exactly how much energy they are using - or rather, wasting.

We have indeed created this monster.

Recent reports stated in its never-ending attempt to produce enough electricity to cater for growing demands, Eskom is now responsible for 6 000 tonnes of sulphur dioxide pumped into the atmosphere on a daily basis.

We seem to be damned if we do and damned if we don't. Life without computers and the internet? Bright lights? Television? A quick cuppa?

At least in the darkness it will be much easier to turn a blind eye.

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