Jan 27, 2023

Mawazo Writing Africa

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Black working class in townships bear the burden of SA’s electricity crisis — study

Black working-class township South Africans are bearing the burden of the country’s electricity crisis.

A study by the University of Johannesburg reveals this.

The study, entitled Energy Racism, was conducted in Soweto and attempted to collect experiences examine , community members’ responses and solutions to the energy crisis.

It shows how unpredictable power outages mostly affect township residents.

“Everyone has problems with electricity; Everyone has experienced load shedding. But people living in Soweto and other working-class townships have bigger problems with electricity.”

Among other things, victims of “racial capitalism” have been denied access to safe, clean electricity , reliable and affordable energy supply.

“The end of apartheid has not eradicated some key forms of oppression, exploitation and domination in the ‘new’ democratic SA. Race, class, and gender remain strong predictors of economic and social well-being. Racial capitalism goes on, but under conditions of a deepening global and perpetual capitalist crisis.”

The study suggests that there are more “continuities than discontinuities” of oppression, exploitation , misery and suffering.

“In addition to load shedding, black working class communities suffer from load shedding. The latter is a racist policy of targeting black areas for blackouts to reduce SA’s energy needs given Eskom’s inability to cope.”

The Study also provides evidence that black working class areas, among others, have allegedly been neglected by Eskom and the authorities in terms of maintenance, service complaints and response to repair calls.

On SAfm, Dr. Trevor Ngwane, director of the UJ’s Center for Sociological Research and Practice, said the study focused on Soweto to “get closer to the point”.

“No one was paying attention how the power crisis is being experienced by people in black townships, villages and cottages.

< span>“We have found that the black working class is suffering most and is bearing the brunt of the Crisis in SA bears. They suffer more from blackouts and have less equal access to equal treatment.”

More potential load shedding on the cards

< p>Eskom this week warned of a full week of load shedding if the utility fails to pool enough generation capacity to meet national peak demand.

On Monday, the Load shedding increased to Tier 4 after Unit 2 of the Kusile power plant failed, bringing 720 MW of generation capacity.

Eskom said it has 1,904 MW on scheduled maintenance while 17,255 MW capacity was unavailable due to outages.

According toEskom COO Jan Oberholzer, Eskom suffered at least eight major outages in its power plants, adding to the strain on the already strained power system.

The expected how the commissioning of some of these units this week may not be the enough case to suspend load shedding.

“If we look at the coming week, we lack the generation capacity that we need need to meet the country’s demand.

“It is important to note that load shedding may increase if there are further outages . The three units that we expected to be back in service have returned. However, due to the unreliability and unpredictability of our system, we may be forced to increase the level of load shedding from 3 to 4 should something drastic happen,” he said.

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