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From the point of view of many ordinary South Africans, Eskom and the government have failed the people.
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Wednesday 16 April, - 9: From the point of view of many ordinary people, Eskom and the government have failed the people. The power failures that are taking place are adding to the crisis of political credibility that the post-apartheid democratic government is experiencing.
With food rotting in the fridge, workers losing their jobs, students having to study with candles and the frightening prospect of this chaos becoming the norm, there is a growing sense of uncertainty and hardship in the country. The blackouts hit the working class and the poor the hardest.
While the rich can buy generators and eat at restaurants, the poor must live in darkness without food because there is no electricity to cook.
Meanwhile Eskom bosses pay themselves big salaries and undeserved bonuses. The roots of the energy crisis lie in the very structure of the South African capitalist economy. It is an economy historically built to produce and distribute goods and services for the benefit of a minority at the expense of the majority.
For millions of South Africans, the energy crisis is not new - they have been living with it for a long time. Many communities live in the Dark Ages with too many people destined to live all their lives without ever having electricity in their homes.
Cut-offs for non-payment and power failures due to poor infrastructure are some of the things working class communities have been living with all along. Big business pays about 8 cents per kilowatt-hour while domestic users pay about 26 cents.
The South African economy is designed to make the rich richer and the poor poorer and electricity is no exception to this rule. Indeed, electricity is central to the historical development of South African capitalism.
The tragedy is that the ANC government of national liberation has failed to significantly transform the social and economic structure of exploitation that it inherited. To the contrary, it has embraced neoliberal capitalist policies that entrench this structure and attack the working class and the poor.
Is the dream of liberation indeed being trampled upon on the altar of profit? Millions of people live without electricity, but the electricity is there. Eskom closed down power stations instead of building new ones.
Eskom retrenched 30 workers, half its workforce, instead of training and retaining them. President Mbeki apologised to the nation and blamed unprecedented growth for the crisis, but this begged the question of why a government that has made growth its mantra failed to anticipate it and plan accordingly.
It is workers and the poor who pay for the capitalist crisis.
Banks can go bust and companies fold but it is ordinary people who pay with their jobs and lost savings while the directors get bail-outs from government.
Trevor Manuel, the finance minister, is giving Eskom tens of billions of rands to solve its self-created crisis.
This will secure the jobs and big salaries of Eskom bosses while ordinary people face steep tariff increases, power rationing, intensification of cut-offs, paralysis of the electricity roll-out programme, job losses and more load shedding. Eskom was under instruction from the Minister of Public Enterprises, Jeff Radebe, who wanted to make Eskom attractive to investors by dangling profits and making sure everyone pays for electricity.
SECC comrades feel vindicated about their early opposition to electricity cut-offs and privatisation. It seems it was never about ensuring a reliable, safe, clean and affordable supply of electricity; no, it was always about using cheap electricity to feed mining, industrial and agricultural profits and building Eskom into a big multinational cash cow energy corporation.
Environmentalists and other progressive people tell Eskom to invest in solar, wind, water and other renewable sources of energy. We oppose nuclear energy because it is dangerous and expensive. Bio-fuels use up land that could grow food and they can result in de-forestation.
The SECC cannot face the present crisis alone and needs the strength of a united and fighting working class movement in order to win. Hence it has recently spearheaded a national campaign to fight against the electricity crisis.
The campaign aims to amplify the voices from the ground in a public debate mostly dominated by government and big business. Its aim is to fight for solutions that will benefit the working class and the poor. It puts the blame for the crisis squarely at the feet of government and its capitalist policies.
The Coalition, backing its words with action, already conducts weekly pickets at Soweto Eskom paypoints. Two protest marches are planned in the next two months.Despite this promising start, the measures undertaken by Peel's successor, Lord John Russell, proved comparatively "inadequate" as the crisis initiativeblog.coml's ministry introduced public works projects, which by December employed some half million Irish and proved impossible to administer.
Alexa Person is an Alchemist, Texas-based author and lecturer. Alexa is committed to shifting individuals into higher alignment of sovereign divine balance ~ Oneness, and Love.
WIN | Summer | 31 last two decades. California has closed more than 75 per-cent of its high school programs. Just this year, the state of Connecticut has proposed eliminating its year-old.
About Us. IHS Markit is the leading source of information and insight in critical areas that shape today's business landscape. Customers around the world rely on . The recent dispute between Qatar and some of its neighbors (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, and Bahrain) is the most serious dispute among them in years and has the potential to further destabilize an already turbulent region.
REPORT OF THE MOERANE INVESTIGATING TEAM TO THE MINISTER OF MINERALS AND ENERGY ON THE DECEMBER FUEL SHORTAGES EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 During December , South Africa experienced a series of.