In my book two colossal and expensive blunders committed by the populist ANC is the denialism of HIV-Aids which resulted in many unnecessary deaths and deliberately neglecting of investing capital on Eskom despite being advised to do so.
Lest we forget, in the early 2000 the ANC government embraced flawed AIDS policy which led to more than 400 000 people dying.
Many lives were lost because of failure to accept the use of available ARV’s to prevent and treat HIV/Aids in timely manner.
ANC through its president, Thabo Mbeki was on unshakeable opinion that a solution was not expensive western medicine, rather than alleviation of poverty in Africa.
In July 2000 the pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingeheim offered to donate its drug Nevaripine which could prevent the transmission of HIV from mother to child during labour.
But ANC government, who were suspicious of the drug, restricted the availability of Nevaripine to only two pilot sites per province until December 2002 resulting in 35000 infected babies who would have been protected from the virus.
On power failure, ANC failed to heed to invest capital on Eskom.
In 1998 an Eskom strategic document to the then minister of mineral and energy affairs Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka prophesised that unless urgent capital investment were made immediately the country could face an energy crisis by 2007.
The minister chose to ignore the warning. The country went to an energy crisis.
Mlambo-Ngcuka was rewarded for her incompetence and abdication of her duty with the cushy post of deputy-president.
Meanwhile South Africa a developing country was plunged into unbearable darkness which was euphemistically called load shedding.
In 2008 South Africa’s peak demand for electricity was reaching 36500 megawatts, while Eskom supply was in order of 40 000 megawatts, it does not take a rocket scientist to observe that South Africa’s reserve capacity was running perilously low.
Moreover some existing stations had to be taken down for repairs the only possible way to manage the reserve was to cut off supply.
Consequently a period of the most devastating rolling power outages caused by lack of generation capacity and the crumbling of existing infrastructure resulted.
Eskom is now blaming consumers for using too much power and increasing their tariffs, and appealing for the nation to pull together without recriminations`.
Brian Pottiger in his book “Mbeki Legacy ” likens ANC as a driver of a car who despite all appeals warning and instructions from his passengers, drives the car off the cliff and as everybody hurtles towards their doom he says, now is not the time for finger pointing we are all in this together.
At least when it comes to ANC indiscretion regarding Eskom debacle, ANC government in the person of Thabo Mbeki profusely apologized.
However I have yet to hear the ruling party apologize for causing unnecessary death of those living with HIV-Aids and babies who contracted the virus.
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