Eskom is beyond repair: dumping it is a social justice imperative

The power utility's failures are sending our economy into a nosedive and taking the prospects of alleviating poverty and inequality down with it

15 December 2019 - 00:00 By RUDY OOSTERWYK

The president's bogus claim that Eskom is being sabotaged is as rusted as the bolt Alec Erwin left in one of the turbines at the Koeberg power station back in 2006. Wet coal, broken conveyer belts, sabotage and bolts in the turbines are the lies of a failed business and a distraction from the real question: what is the socioeconomic impact on the 30-million-plus South Africans living in poverty if we lose an estimated R5bn a day every time the lights go off?

SA's GDP growth rate for 2019 has already been downgraded by most agencies and banks and is now projected at between 0.6% and 0.8% per annum, a far cry from the stimulus required for a job- and wealth-creating economy "for all". What this all means is higher consumer prices, increased job losses and fewer jobs available in the market, even lower levels of savings and investment, lower tax revenue, lower to almost zero levels of economic growth over the next decade and significant increases in our social grant budgets...

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