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Thread: The SA electrical power shortage - who is to blame?

  1. #1
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    The SA electrical power shortage - who is to blame?

    I thought in the interests of trying to bring some balance to the views generally expressed on this site so far, I'd share the views of Lennox Mabaso.
    'Apartheid planning resulted in blackouts'
    There is no way water will not be bloodied if a crocodile has been feeding on the calf of the hippopotamus. In the same way the present debate about the electricity challenge facing our country is a classic representation of everything that is wrong with our national discourse.

    Granted, the fact that the country has had to endure intermittent rolling blackouts is a matter of major concern not only for our day-to-day existence, but for the very economic well-being of our country. So serious is this challenge that even our government, through President Thabo Mbeki, has had to apologise to the nation and summoned Eskom executives to find solutions to these potentially crippling power outages.

    As a country that is still picking up pieces from the debris of apartheid rule, South Africa can ill-afford to experience these power outages as they can have a devastating impact on the economic growth of the country.

    That said, however, it is important to put this debate into context and avoid the zero sum game approach which characterises debates in South Africa.

    The truth is that the outages are a direct result of lopsided apartheid planning.

    Because apartheid architects, in their wisdom, did not think that Africans would in their lifetime enjoy the basic necessity of having electricity in their homes, the demand for electricity over the past 13 years has far outstripped supply, leaving Eskom buckling under pressure. That is the kernel of the issue.
    full opinion piece from IOL here

    Lennox Mabaso is a former chairperson of the South African Student Congress and a spokesperson for local government MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu. He writes in his personal capacity.
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  2. #2
    Platinum Member Chatmaster's Avatar
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    Lol, just another deny accountability and blame apartheid so hopefully my brothers will believe me response.

    I still need a response on this issue that will satisfy me. That is perhaps because I look at the facts presented and see corruption as the reason for this. If one of them can explain the coal shortage, large bonuses paid to the Eskom bosses, the more than 50% cut in personnel, why they didn't react to a 9 year warning and finally why no one has been fired yet will I have an understanding. Now Alec Irwin is stating that the electricity demand grew more than expected and not the economy, hoping that we are dumb enough to believe that this happened so quickly that they were the victims of their own success...

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    It is an interesting perspective, although he seems to oppose his own view a few times, e.g.

    The truth is that the outages are a direct result of lopsided apartheid planning.
    and then

    When we voted this government to power we knew then that it would experience difficulties in some areas and there would be unintended mistakes that it would make and indeed the power problem is one of those unintended mistakes that our government has openly admitted it made.
    Also, I don't believe that other political parties are the only ones looking to make cheap political shots - the ANC (internally) has just as much to gain by spinning this a certain way. He also goes on to make a number of his own statements which are cheap political shots.

    His venom is very much directed at the DA (which seems to represent apartheid in his mind) as he frames this issue along racial and political lines.

    It is really unfortunate that we still have people in this country that buy into the reality that he implies. It implies an Us vs Them attitude which does not create progress, but holds onto the negative legacy of our past.

    The sad thing is that underneath all the political venom there are some great thoughts about unity and solving the challenges that we have together. If only we could strip away all the racial and political nonsense, maybe he would realise that everybody in this country wants it to work, and maybe - just maybe - he is blinded to that by the pain of the past.
    Last edited by duncan drennan; 06-Feb-08 at 09:46 AM.

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