Eskom, South Africa’s state-run energy company has begun initiating rolling blackouts throughout the country from up to four hours a day! Honestly, what the hell? How is Africa’s strongest and most advanced nation, with a GDP responsible for 1/3 that of the whole continent’s, suffering from the worst energy crisis around? South Africa is the only country in the region with any appeal to the first world and they can’t even control their electricity. The company has stated that the blackouts are scheduled to last until 2013. I don’t understand how the nation is supposed to thrive and attract foreign investment when office buildings are going to be shut down for hours a day. But lets take a look at a side issue for a moment-the physical danger of it all. Sure hospitals and other emergency organisations might have power generators, but what about homes? Electricity turns off, alarm systems disconnect, and electric gates stop closing-all of sudden you’re at risk of a robbery. How are people supposed to be kept safe when the electrical company has already stated that homes in specific regions will have their energy cut off during this specific time?
Back to the foreign investment issue; why would people invest in a nation that’s unable to support it’s business? It makes absolutely no sense and it’s just a plain and simple embarrassment for a nation that’s looked at by some as first world. The country needs to find a real solution to this problem very soon otherwise their issues are just going to get worse, permanently.
FIFA World Cup 2010 is right around the corner, let’s just hope the government doesn’t forget that.