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Web Letter

It is total lunacy to allege that SA energy needs has outstripped its supply because of growth. It smacks of ignorance on the part of the writer for believing this rhetoric put out by the current South African government.

The reason for this problem--catastrophe, rather--which has manage to close mining production down for days, and caused the economy to suffer, is the affirmative action of the ANC government. Of its many strange management decisions, its policy of having experienced staff laid off and replace them by inexperienced black personnel and managers has now finally reaped this bitter harvest.

White engineers with years' experience working for the national electricity suppliers were retrenched, and most left the country. So have experienced managers of local government infrastructure, members of the medical professions, educators and technically skilled people. It is estimated that one million South Africans--white, colored and black--out of a skilled population of maybe 10 million or less have left the country in the past ten years. These people were the middle class that kept the economy and infrastructure afloat.

The reason for their leaving is the rampant crime--about fifty people of all races are murdered daily--and their understanding that the infrastructure cannot hold much longer.

It is indeed very dark in South Africa, but not simply because there is no power.

Louise Pretorius

Auckland, New Zealand

Feb 11 2008 - 5:41am

Web Letter

It amazes me that your article perpetuates the South African government's line that we have outgrown our electricity supply by growing too rapidly. A television documentary aired two weeks ago pointed out that electricity supply had been reduced year by year due to poor maintenance of power generation facilities, running down of coal stockpiles at generation facilities (because of black economic empowerment restrictions of coal transport contracts) as well as to the ESKOM practice of refusing to hire qualified white personnel while reducing their staffing levels from about 60,000 employees some years ago to about 30,000 employees today (question to be asked in Parliament). Please stop using the politically correct information and tell it like it is, otherwise we'll never get back on track here.

John Travers Riordan

Johannesburg, Gauteng South Africa

Feb 10 2008 - 4:11am

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