'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.