22 January 2008

Darkening the Dark Continent: Lights Out!

What do California and South Africa have in common? Neither jurisdiction is willing to upgrade its power generation infrastructure to meet demand--so both jurisdictions are facing serious repercussions and shortages. In the case of South Africa, it is shutting down power to its neighbors, because it cannot generate enough power for its own needs.
South Africa's state-owned electricity company Eskom has stopped supplying power to neighbouring countries because of acute domestic shortages.

Zimbabwe and Mozambique are thought to be the worst affected countries.

A BBC correspondent says the recent daily power cuts have caused chaos and are threatening to have a major impact on South Africa's economy...On Friday, enraged commuters set fire to trains in Pretoria after power cuts caused two-hour train delays...The BBC's Peter Biles in Johannesburg says many small businesses are being crippled by the blackouts.

President Thabo Mbeki on Sunday met Eskom's executives to discuss the power shortages...Mr Mbeki last month admitted the government had been wrong to refuse Eskom's request for more investment in power generation several years ago, reports the AFP news agency..."We were wrong. Eskom was right," Mr Mbeki said.

Where South Africa leads, can California avoid following? Probably not, given the general atmosphere of immunity from reality exuded by California state government, and by large city governments such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland. Bad government in South Africa, and bad government in California. Different continents, similar results. Lights out?

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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