Friday, January 18, 2008

ANC never liked electricity that much in the first place

All this talk about Eskom and "Load Shedding" reminds me of a history book I read, which showed power lines blown up by the ANC in the early 60's.
Now that South Africa is reeling under the incompetence of the people who manage our power supply, including government, it struck me that really not much has changed since the 1960's after all. Then it was called "Resistance", now it's called "Load Shedding". The result is pretty much the same.
Essentially, we have now woken up to what we should have been told about 2 years ago when the Koeberg screw-up happened: there is no more electricity, and we can expect blackouts everyday from now on for the next decade. Why they didn't say so in so many words is anyone's guess, but I suspect it was plain cowardice. Of course, it would have been great if there was a subsidy for solar water heating 5-10 years ago, before the crisis hit; but that would imply forward thinking, vision and planning, all of which are clearly in shorter supply than our electricity.
And the 18% price increase is another cowardly way of telling business to reduce its power consumption by 18%. A better way would be to offer discounts to companies who reduce their energy consumption. It would also be nice if we didn't give away our resources to criminal regimes like Zimbabwe, since they have no money to actually pay for them.

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