Editorial: State capture killed our power supply

2018-06-17 10:09

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If you found yourself without electricity on Thursday night, and again on Friday, and perhaps even yesterday the lights and heat were suddenly absent from your home, you have been a victim of state capture.

The Level 1 load shedding announced by Eskom this week is, ultimately, the result of the corruption, mismanagement and looting at the national power utility. It is a consequence of state capture, and chickens are coming home to roost.

A deeply complex set of dynamics has been left in the wake of this state capture.

A bloated middle management that earns way above the national average, a top heavy management with huge salaries, R360bn in debt, dodgy deals with firms that supply sub-standard coal, and a broad workforce who have downed tools against a company that refuses to offer any salary increases.

The labour action against the utility has been blamed, by Eskom itself, for the loss of power in South Africa’s homes. Sabotage. Intimidation. Broken power stations, they claim. To fall back on these excuses is disingenuous and highly provocative.

Power stations are meant to have a 21-day backup coal supply, so a day of protest action should not cause the national grid to creak and shut down. Power
stations do not break in a day and, coincidentally, when labour action begins. Security at power stations should also not fail on the day of labour unrest.

While we may resent not having electricity, we cannot coldly condemn the workers for crippling the grid.

In all the years of pigs feeding at Eskom’s money trough, the workers worked and they should not now bear the brunt of no pay hikes in an environment of rising inflation, as well as fuel and food price
increases.

Read more on:    eskom
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