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.
Auckland, New Zealand
Feb 11 2008 - 5:41am