DEAR Madam Minister,

You may recall that a few years ago I applied to your good offices for an annual snoek fishing quota. That application was undertaken in the name of my Boksburg-based company, Fishy Business CC.

To this day I don’t know why you did not see fit to so much as respond to my (I thought) compelling proposal, which included the suggestion that, should my application succeed, I would donate as much smoked snoek as the Western Cape branch of the ruling party might require for its annual fish braai fundraiser.

In any event, I see you have now got yourself a proper job, in charge of our nation’s energy security. Congratulations; after your sterling work at farming and fishing I can think of no individual better equipped for this most important task.

I also see that, since your elevation, you have been putting your nose to the grindstone, travelling the world and signing all sorts of agreements with clever French and Russian people to build us nuclear power stations so that we will have almost free, clean electricity forever and ever.

Now, I’m as confused as the next man about what you did or did not agree with the Ruskies but, a word to the wise (and I mean, literally, just one word for you to ponder): when it comes to Russians and nuclear power plants, that word is “Chernobyl”.

I must assume that the unfortunate fuss about whether you had or had not actually agreed to the Russians’ asking price and signed on the dotted line was entirely the fault of the salaried morons you have to put up with at the Department of Energy.

In any event, I see you have now got yourself a proper job, in charge of our nation’s energy security. Congratulations; after your sterling work at farming and fishing I can think of no individual better equipped for this most important task.

This is why I’m approaching your ministry directly to ask you to please send us one of those nuclear cooperation agreement forms you’re dishing out; I can’t bring myself to work with dimwits who put out a press release stating that their gallivanting boss has just signed a few trillion rands’ worth of nuclear power agreements only to realise, as soon as they’ve pressed the “Send” button, that no-one is meant to know anything about it.

I also read, to my great dismay, that the Central Energy Fund last year managed to irregularly spend a quarter of all the wonga the department got from the government. So, no thank you; I feel much happier dealing with a safe and sagacious minister such as yourself.

If one wants to play in the nuclear build space with our government these days you are, by all accounts, the go-to person. So I commend to you the services of Delmar Nuclear, Roadworks and Office Stationary CC, a wholly-owned and proudly South African subsidiary of Fishy Business CC (hereafter referred to as “Delmar Nuclear”).

I realise this sort of “stationery” is usually spelt with an “e”, but when we started out we were finding our way in the paperclips business. Anyhow, building multibillion-dollar nuclear power stations is much more our bag than supplying ever-arch files and reams of Mondi A4 to penny-pinching SMEs.

At Delmar Nuclear we build nuclear power stations for all sorts of sovereign states including such interesting places as Kazakhstan, North Korea and Equatorial Guinea although I’m not at liberty to disclose contact details for reference purposes – you know what a touchy subject nuclear is these days.

We at Delmar Nuclear can beat any price Johnny Foreigner offers and, by appointing us, you can be assured that all work will be carried out locally using local skills, labour and expertise.

We will conceivably outsource the fiddly reactor engineering bits to a Russian or French contractor of your choosing, but Delmar Nuclear’s unsurpassed project management skills and its phalanx of bakkies are ready, waiting and more than willing to move on site at the drop of your ministerial hat. Best of all, our work comes with a 100% money back guarantee in the unlikely event of a largish explosion or nuclear fallout.

As to my fitness to undertake this work, you will be reassured to know that I have a PhD in nuclear physics from Unisa. (At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what I studied. I forget; it was a long time ago. If necessary, I shall query my credentials with the university.)  Whatever my postgraduate qualification, I definitely have a journalism degree from Rhodes University which, you will agree, is almost as good.

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