When the lights go out, it is natural to get angry with “The System” – be it Eskom at a national level or City Power when it comes to Johannesburg. And when a power outage is accompanied by collateral damage, including the failure of water pumping systems, the rage becomes palpable.
Yet, before we start cursing those working for municipal institutions, let’s take a moment to consider how quickly, and well, they responded when called upon to go above and beyond the call of duty this week in the wake of an explosion and fire that wrecked a critical electrical transformer at Rand Water.
Some of the people on site worked for more than 24 hours without sleeping, turning around a project that should have taken 72 hours in just 30 hours. They weren’t thinking about overtime, either … they were truly thinking about their fellow citizens.
That sort of commitment is rare in modern-day South Africa, where we are all too ready to criticise and blame, but very slow to roll up our own sleeves to help.
So, to the guys who seldom get anything but criticism, we would like to say simply: thanks. You’ve earned that beer …