So the "silly season", that seems to start earlier each year, did live up to expectations and get even sillier. In fact it became downright stupid.
Thanks to the rolling blackouts that are so euphemistically referred to as "load shedding", the relative relief that many working commuters experience on the roads after families with school-going children have packed their bags and rushed off to the coast, was turned into a total nightmare.
Not even the mass exodus by more than 5 000 delegates to Polakwane for the ANC bunfight helped ease congestion on the roads.
Blackouts during peak traffic hours must have something to do with Eskom being in collusion with the oil industry. The obvious conspiracy theory says that the more you are jammed up in peak hour traffic, the more petrol you use; the more petrol you use, the more it drains the national reserves; the faster the national reserves are siphoned off; the higher the price goes. Somebody must be operating a steam-driven gravy train.
Pedestrian traffic in the major shopping malls was just as bad. While Tito may have thought that his recent interest rate hikes were going to have an effect on how much retail therapy South Africans were going to indulge in over the festive season, he seems to have got it wrong.
Chaos experienced at any shopping Mecca – from early morning through to the closing of doors at the end of extended lat-night shopping hours – suggests the retailers enjoyed yet another record year-end.
That’s not to say that there won’t be a massive fall-out after the spending spree. After all, no matter how often South Africans may refer to morê being "nog ‘n dag", Tito seems determined to get us all to knuckle down to meeting his inflation targets.
Against all odds and just my luck, I was not able to use the excuse of a blackout to drag my other half away from a shopping expedition and to follows Tito’s advice to cut down on spending. Not too sure what the conspiracy theory may be behind this one, but I bet my bank manager is smiling.
And so, as we head towards what could be our darkest hours in the darkest part of darkest Africa, all that’s left is to wish power to the people in 2008.
– David Bryant