With a Tsotsi heading ESKOM, should South Africans worry?

Jun 9, 2011

Zimbabwe and South Africa are neighbouring countries who share much in common and whose fates are inextricably linked, despite tensions from time to time. What happens in one country affects people and events in the other.

So it was with some initial alarm that one read the headline Tsotsi named Eskom chairperson. 

What is  'tsotsi' doing heading South Africa's power monopoly, one was forced to wonder? It turns out that there was no reason for alarm after all. The rather initially confusing headline was not in fact literally suggesting that a 'tsotsi' had been named to this prestigious position, but only that a gentleman by the rather unfortunate name of 'Mr. Tsotsi' had been appointed.    

Phew! Power shortages are already becoming a concern in South Africa. One could therefore not bear the thought that to this already difficult scenario had been added the challenge of a thief to chair the utility's board. Thankfully this is not the case. Or at least one hopes not.

With a name like 'Tsotsi, the new chairperson will have to be extra careful that nothing at all goes suspiciously missing at ESKOM during his tenure. He will have to really crack the whip because he would never be able to live down the jokes if thieving of any sort by anyone were to be uncovered. This includes not just the obvious avoidance of any hint of theft on his part, but also making sure nothing is stolen from him.

A headline like "Tsotsis steal Mr. Tsotsi's smartphone from under his nose" would reflect as badly on him and ESKOM as would an allegation of him being the one to go off with anybody's else's property. 

Since Mr. Tsotsi will not be involved in the day to day running of ESKOM perhaps these concerns are ill-founded and paranoid. But still, Mr. Tsotsi and ESKOM will still have to be on guard to avoid a potential public relations nightmare that might unfairly play on his name and any alleged hanky panky  . 

In the spirit of friendship, kinship and solidarity between the peoples of South and Zimbabwe, one hopes that this is a story that will end well.


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