The secret arrangements the ANC entered into with imperialists, former apartheid rulers and corporations are not sustainable. They must abandon them and hand over the country to its rightful owners, otherwise they are going to put the current government on a collision course with the masses. History has shown that African leaders have encountered difficulties in maintaining a balance between the expectations of the former colonial powers on the one hand, and the African masses on the other. ANC leaders are also experiencing the same problem other African leaders before them face more than fifty years ago.
Eskom has been cutting off electricity in African townships perhaps because of pressure from its lenders. A few days ago, residents of Protea in Soweto boarded a bus to Eskom offices in Randfontein and tried to burn it down because of electricity cuts but were prevented by police and/or other intervention. Protea is now a no-go area for Eskom personnel. It is possible that other townships will soon become no-go areas for Eskom personnel. And how are reconnections going to be effected is anybody’s guess.
The Board of Directors comprising of Dr Baldwin Ngubane, Brian Molefe, Matshela Koko and Anoj Singh have run Eskom aground and without any consequences. It emerged during parliamentary hearings that they made an advance payment to a Gupta company to the tune of R2 billion when that company had not delivered what it was paid for. Perhaps Eskom Board members prior to the one mentioned in the preceding lines also bankrupted Eskom. Why should the masses bear the brunt of and pay for the incompetence and corruption of these people?
Two days ago there was toyi-toying in Kagiso after Eskom cut off electricity. They are escorted by a security company and one wonders how much they spend on that security company and who owns it.
Electricity is switched off only in African residential areas but not in white residential areas. There are areas in which electricity is not paid. Not all households are billed. For example, if there are 900 houses, only 700 houses are billed and the money for the 200 houses that were not billed goes to ANC coffers. They have been made aware of that loophole but ignored it. One wonders if the current DA local government has addressed the anomaly.
A few days back, I wrote an article about the loan the ANC government secured for Eskom from the World Bank and a recent one from the Chinese http://uncensoredopinion.co.za/why-are-details-of-the-chinese-loan-to-eskom-kept-confidential-mr-president/
The ANC government is probably under pressure to repay the World Bank loan or face the consequences. It is also likely that the Chinese loan to Eskom is meant to relieve the ANC government of the World Bank loan but it is not without conditions, that is probably the reason President Cyril Ramaphosa said the details of the Chinese loan are confidential. As I pointed out in the above article, World Bank and IMF loan conditions are structured in such a way that they become difficult for debtor countries to satisfy. Hence the austerity measures Eskom has adopted against African masses.
Moreover, it has been reported that, “Eskom has appointed American financial advisory and asset management firm Lazard Ltd to provide advice on the sale of Eskom’s core assets. Lazard provided similar advice to the Government of Oman on the privatisation of their Electric Utility to European Investors.
“Lazard has R3.7 Trillion in Assets Under Management, It is majority owned by the Vanguard Group with an 8% Stake. The Vanguard is the Largest Asset Management Company in the world with R75 Trillion in Assets Under Management. It is the Largest Foreign Shareholder at the JSE.
“The Vanguard Group is privately owned and has the Rothschilds as some of its major shareholders. Lazard Ltd, is linked to the Council on Foreign Relations and the Rockefeller Foundations through its board members. South Africans should kiss Eskom goodbye”.
In his African Energy Doctrine almost six decades ago, Dr Cheikh Anta Diop proposed “a schema of continent wide energy development that takes into account at one and the same time renewable and non-renewable energy resources, ecology and technical advances of the coming decades. He wrote that Black Africa will have to find a formula of energy pluralism that harmoniously combines utilisation of the following sources of energy: 1) Hydro-electric energy (dams); 2) solar energy; 3) nuclear energy; 4) geothermal energy; 5) hydrocarbons (petroleum); 6) thermonuclear energy.
Diop pointed out that world reserves of hydraulic energy are estimated at 50 billion kilowatt-hours per year, of which 90 percent are concentrated in underdeveloped regions. Europe has only 3 percent, the United States 4 percent and the USSR 3.5 percent. Black Africa leads all the world in hydraulic energy with its reserves of thousands of billions of kilowatt-hours representing about half the total world resources.
Given this natural energy resources, why is the ANC government after almost 25 years in office is still cutting poor African people’s electricity supply because they cannot afford it? Why do they rely on foreign governments to fund their energy sources? We cannot rely on foreign governments for our supply of energy.
Another fuel price hike is looming. Fuel prices are rising almost every month exacerbated by global oil prices and the rand-dollar exchange rate. Some officials of this corrupt and profligate government have squandered oil reserves which were sold for a song again without any consequences. Poor Africans are the ones who absorbed the results of this wastefulness. The ANC government is failing to come up with alternative fuel sources such as, for example propane and hydrogen to absorb the shock of these sky-rocketing fuel prices.
The rand is in free fall mode and one wonders why the two-tier currency system was abandoned by the ANC government. The privately owned South African Reserve Bank is colluding in the devaluation of the rand.
One wonders how the ANC government expects poor Africans should cope with the ever rising prices of electricity and petrol.
As for a resolution of the stand-off between communities and Eskom, a rapprochement is going to be necessary instead of the confrontational stance Eskom has adopted.