When I am Eskom boss… the Gwedes must leave me without putting their noses into my affairs



In the event of President Cyril Ramaphosa appointing me as a replacement for the hard done by André de Ruyter, I willingly – and for the sake of the country – would accede to the presidential command.

Before taking such a huge step, the president would’ve known I know something about coal. As an urchin, my job was to clean the chimney of the veteran upmarket Aga stove.

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This entailed detaching the various parts, other than the chimney itself, where soot had formed crusts. It took more than two hours of scraping and shaking to remove the inhibiting black dross.

Amazingly, the coal’s heat spread more intensely to the plates and oven thanks to the cleaning exercise.

Incidentally, at school we were taught that lignite coal is used in electricity generation because of its low heating value and high moisture content.

Also on my CV is the experience I had years ago at Arnold Colliery near Oogies.

As the editor of a technical journal, I was given a tour of the giant mining operation that included driving a massive front-end loader scooping coal then dumping it into coco pans.

Full marks from the foreman who allowed me to keep the hard hat as a keepsake.

How many of the present Eskom board can compete with my basic knowledge of coal and its role in power generation?

It’s a safe bet they can’t because if they could, they would’ve been all over the workers, making sure they adhered to basic requirements.

We keep being told of dirty or wet coal, worn out turbines and associated equipment.

When last did the brass rub shoulders with the staff at the coalface?

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I bet, zilch, thus allowing crime syndicates, through bent workers, to neglect essential maintenance. I’ve stipulated certain conditions of employment.

The Gwedes must leave me for a full year without putting their inexperienced noses into my affairs.

And secondly, I’m given the budget to employ a team of top-notch detectives to “interview” every worker on an ongoing basis.

Scare the hell out of the guilty to sing like dickybirds or bugger off. This exercise and the presence of a strong army will become the norm.

The innocent workers will welcome the clean up, even become my ears and eyes. Must find that hard hat.


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