Power misplaced in powerless city

2013-09-08 14:00

Here at City Press we have been without electricity for three days. Your powerless City Press. Despite having a backup generator, there are still large inconveniences when trying to run a paper through a blackout.

Yes, we know well that, officially, 15% of South African formal households don’t even have electricity, so power cuts can feel like a middle class issue.

But let’s consider why the cuts besetting Joburg are a black spot. For one, the city is still the country’s economic heartbeat. Gauteng is small, but Joburg contributes a disproportionate amount to the national gross domestic product. It is also at the heart of a prosperous and growing transport and retail link to the rest of the continent.

You simply can’t have power going out – impacting on transport, traffic and enterprise – as it did this week. There are also human impacts on health and wellbeing to consider.

City Power, which runs electricity generation, is still a shambolic agency, despite years of expensive fixits. We don’t have enough electricians and engineers so we work those few we do have to the bone. Remuneration is ballooned by overtime and shift work – the changes to which sparked this week’s action.

Did the workers flip the switches and plunge us into darkness? If they did, the law must take its course. But the blackouts tell a bigger story than sabotage – it is about whether the city’s managers can unlock its potential to truly be a world-class African city.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.