The crisis is far bigger than the violent protests and looting of last July. It’s even bigger than the Covid-19 pandemic. That’s how serious the power crisis has become, and it is having potentially catastrophic effects on stability in SA, writes Max du Preez.
The power outages last week have cost the economy around R20 billion, an economics researcher said , “and we’re not even talking about the undermining of business confidence and our standing as an investment destination, or the impact on small businesses and unemployment.”
If the crisis persists, the rate of economic growth could fall closer to 1% than hoped 2% and we could see another downgrade in our credit rating.
The problem is that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government is weak, aimless and divided, with far less power and standing than any government since 1994, except perhaps during the last few months in the office of former President Jacob Zuma.
Ramaphosa’s political opponents and other opportunists see him and his administration as a wounded beast, and the power problems have created the ideal opportunity to finish him off.
His advisors believe that the RET faction of the ANC, together with the EFF and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA< span>takes every opportunity to exploit the crisis and further weaken Ramaphosa.
“Chaos is their ally,” said a source.
The top Eskom management has often claimed that our power plants are being sabotaged. It’s hard to see any motive behind this other than political undermining.
Read more about this, plus more news and analysis, in this week’s Vrye Weekblad
Must read Vrye Weekblad
>> Browse the full 1 July issue
< p> NOT ALL STATE CAPTURERS WILL BE PUNISHED | Despite what we have seen and heard at the Zondo Commission, we must recognize that the current justice system is incapable of delivering justice.
THE WEEK IN POLITICS | Max du Preez addresses the cancellation of special permits for Zimbabwean migrants, the skeletons in Iqbal Survé’s closet and three mayors actually doing their jobs.
ANOTHER JOB CRISIS | In the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe, there are more jobs than job seekers. Could Africa help them solve this problem?
Will this July be different? | Erika Gibson examines whether the security structures would be able to counter a repeat of the chaos and riots of last July.
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