18 February 2019

South Africa: Never Mind the Past - It's Eskom, Stupid

analysis

Last week, the nation was shocked to find that up to 40% of Eskom's power producing capability was offline. Stage Four load shedding was presented to the unsuspecting and unwelcoming nation. If the most serious governance problem we currently face is not solved, the entire economy, and with it, the country, may sink into the pre-industrial age. Yet, instead of concentrating on this clear and present danger, much of the nation's energy was spent fighting battles from the past, real or fictional.

For some, it seemed the past is much more important to debate than our present, and our future. There are important political reasons for this apparent irrationality, perhaps directed by the difficulties of the present. They may also be explained away by the great differences in what various constituencies in our democracy actually want, guiding politicians in their efforts to gather votes from a broad enough section of our society.

Cope leader Mosioua Lekota's claim in Parliament on Wednesday that President Cyril Ramaphosa had "sold out" his comrades in the 1970s led to a great amount of political activity. EFF leader, Julius Malema, who had previously condemned Lekota for his refusal to back expropriation without compensation, offered him...

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