Eskom's descent into Stage 6 load shedding has brought an urgent focus on the short-term reasons for the lack of power supply. It is becoming increasingly obvious that SA has the ability to create and generate much more electricity than it is at the moment. What is holding us back is a refusal to implement the measures that would make a difference in the short, medium and long terms.
It is because of political inaction, not physical constraints, that South Africa does not have enough power. And it appears the main figure in this, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe, does not believe the matter is urgent.
The longer-term reasons for the crisis at Eskom are well known: a lack of investment in new capacity, not enough power stations, and major problems at Kusile and Medupi. The short-term reasons for Stage 6 load shedding this week are also in the public domain. They involve the flooding of power stations after heavy rains, the breakdown of a conveyor belt at Medupi and the old issue of problems with coal.
But the most astonishing piece of information is that electricity is being produced right now in South Africa that is not...