Eskom: Load reduction plan got labelled as racist in a Twitter storm. The new CEO, Andre de Ruyter previously worked as CEO at Nampak before accepting the role of resurrecting Eskom after state capture ruined it. He faces a hard task ahead of him but it seems he can be a hard taskmaster.
Eskom’s load reduction affects areas with illegal connections
Eskom’s load reduction program affects largely black areas. Grounds for the argument that electricity should be more accessible for poorer people exist. Especially people who felt oppressed under Apartheid. Unfortunately, the electricity supplier, Eskom, sits central to state capture and corruption and lost billions over a decade. The rebuilding of Eskom means everyone pays for their power in 2020, regardless of previous governance. If Eskom fails. South Africa fails.
Illegal connections in the areas listed by Eskom target the good guys who actually pay their bills. A fact lamented by @Dumzin11 asks “why is it so difficult to isolate those that are connecting illegally?” Eskom claimed via Radio 702, that their staff runs the risk of endangerment when disconnecting illegal connections. They believe a safer option includes turning off an entire area for a short period.
Overloading through illegal connections destroys substations. Unfair for the good guys, nevertheless, it’s a choice. Either everyone gets electricity with short blackouts or everyone lives in a permanent blackout as substations implode.
Eskom defends itself from racist accusations
The areas targeted for load reduction’s based on the number of illegal connections, not race, according to Eskom’s Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshanstsha in a conversation with Radio 702.
Apartheid legacy continues to shoot South Africa in the foot
The divisions along racial lines in South Africa never yet got redressed under the ANC. Electricity remains an unaffordable commodity in poor areas. Historically these areas remain largely inhabited by black South Africans. Many feel extremely unhappy and the feeling of being targeted devolves into a race issue because the majority of poor people are black.
Load reduction aims at illegal connections. Unfortunately, the good guys who pay their bills also get affected.
The load reduction seems unfair, especially for those who pay their bills. But, the buck has to stop somewhere. Ideally, the President should appeal to his people to assist Eskom in any way they can until it’s running effectively once again. South Africans need to lobby for affordable electricity for everyone. Government needs to legislate that all new constructions must comply fully with solar-powered options. In the meantime, it is probably our national duty to accept load reduction in the hope that Eskom fully recovers.
Has your electricity been reduced? How is it affecting your household? Is it better to have a short power break and avoid total blackouts through destroyed substations? Have your say.
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