“There’s a belief out there that the electricity challenge is a result of the failure of government, of lack of leadership ... The economy of apartheid was racially skewed and structured to take care of the minority, not the majority of the country ... Apartheid forced the majority of people to live far away from economic opportunities, this exclusion must be defeated.” - President Jacob Zuma, 2014
As outlined President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address in February 2015, the energy crisis in South Africa, with regular ‘load-shedding’ due to shortages of power from the monopoly utility Eskom, is now at the top of the political agenda, with ongoing disputes about who is responsible and when the situation can be fixed.
The long-term strategy to exit the crisis and begin a transition to a sustainable energy system is also marked by strong disagreements between utility and government officials and their critics.
Do you still remember load shedding? Those cold, dark nights without any TV or heaters? Having to leave the office 15 minutes before a scheduled ‘shed’ so that you don’t have to walk down 29 flights of stairs to get home? The crazy traffic because traffic lights were not working?