The 27th April marks the day in South Africa on which the first free elections were held in 1994: Freedom Day, is how the government consecrated the event. The end of Apartheid has been followed by arrangements that are less detestable, but not by much. Inequality is up in what was, by state policy, one of the world’s most persistently unequal societies. Not to worry, you might counter. If inequality is increasing, it’s not because the poor are getting poorer, but that there’s a few people getting richer – an augury of redistribution and high income for all. But the poor are getting poorer. As this report suggests, “50 percent of South African households lived on less than R2 899 per month for a household of eight in 2004, up from 40 percent in 1994.”
I really think we need to be a little more surprised about this than we are. It’s a link to the UK National Grid’s top ten power spikes associated with TV viewing. The spikes tell of the action of people who, in TV ad breaks, collectively bugger off and make a cup of tea, causing trouble to electricity suppliers across the nation.