Friday, January 25, 2008

Eskom: Too Late To Apologise

It's getting a bit much now isn't it. While out on a cycle this morning, a friend of mine who went on holiday in Australia said it has been very difficult coming back after spending time on the beach and in the sun and trying to re-adjust to cold, wet, rainy, blacked out South Africa. I've always imagined Aussie as an idealised version of SA.

But since we're here, we have to make do. Here are two useful thoughts.
1) Given the levels we've seen of corruption in government and that includes public service offices, is it really that surprising that we're starting to find systems breaking down? Is it surprising when people are appointed willy nilly to further transformation rather than on merit? It may feel good politically to put bums in seats, but in the end, I'm sure everyone would prefer the lights on. You can't just put any bum on a seat; it can't be your buddy or your girlfriend's cousin's husband. Those bums in seats, whoever they are, need to be doing their jobs. Sorry, that's the way it works if you want things to work. It's the same with the rugby team: does it do anyone any good if our national squad can't win a game? I don't know about you, but I still don't have the guts to watch Bafana play. I'm not convinced they can win, and until I am, I'll probably forget the Boys are playing as I did during their match against Angola. They drew 1-1. Once again, nothing spectacular. My point is, until people in positions do what is expected of them, we're going nowhere fast. Lack of accountability is a problem.

2) Energy is no longer cheap. Why? Because the number of users has grown. That's code for: there are two many people using up resources. Food, fuel, electricity. NoHow long before people start to adjust family sizes? At the moment people can't even

- and at this point the power cut out.
Not going to continue the point. On the way to work on 94.7 they had an Eskom adapted version of the Wackhead Republic Timbaland song: Apologise. Excellent. I'll post a link to their podcast as soon as they put it up. Zzzt.

From 94.7 News:
SA dealing with biggest power cuts ever
Eskom says one quarter of the country's power supplies are out of action.

That has caused the biggest rolling power cuts to day, with the utility being short of around 4 000 megawatts of power.

Eskom's Andrew Etzinger says planned maintenance and technical faults have hit Eskom's power supplies hard.

This has been huge in terms of power cuts. Eskom has literally no reserves of power and has to take several of its power stations off the national grid to fix them.

As a result of that planned maintenance and then because of problems with a couple of other units, Eskom has had to switch off large areas.

Areas that are controlled directly by Eskom, such as Sandton, have been hit the hardest because it's easier for Eskom to switch them off and on.

This is the worst blackout the country has had so far, but Eskom says it's working furiously to make sure that power cuts on this scale don't happen again.

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