Kambaku

 

“Kambaku” is a local word meaning old elephant. I decided to use it as a title for this post about power supply in Southern Africa, once this is an old issue with strength to live for much longer.

 

South Africans are revolted. Individual needs and economy are badly hurt due to constant power blackouts. I still remember the long hours in the dark during our last North Coast holidays. And I wonder how can I be crazy enough to be planning a visit to the same place instead of Ponta do Ouro or Inhambane. If it wasn’t for JP and a couple of other strategic aspects, be sure I would pick Ponta do Ouro.

 

If you want to know a little more about the electricity crisis in South Africa, you can check the following reportage:

 

http://www.mnet.co.za/Mnet/Shows/carteblanche/Story.asp?Id=3485

http://www.mnet.co.za/Mnet/Shows/carteblanche/story.asp?Id=3449

or

http://www.mnet.co.za/Mnet/Shows/carteblanche/story.asp?Id=3444

I just wanted to add a few words to that. South Africans seem to be upset because Eskom keeps supplying electricity to neighbouring countries, including Mozambique. Apparently, South Africans have reasons to complain.

 

Indeed, why is Eskom still exporting electricity to other countries in Southern Africa while the existing power is clearly not enough for internal consumption? I am not sure about the answer to this question, but I have an idea.

 

Neighbouring countries are in reality supplying raw electricity to South Africa. Due to the mining crisis, that electricity is vital. Those countries supply electricity to South Africa within the spirit of contracts by which South Africa compromises to supply them back with a certain part of transformed electricity. In a few words, South Africa doesn’t produce enough electricity but it has the means to transform it. On the contrary, the neighbouring states can produce power in excess but they don’t have the means to transform it.

 

It all depends of contracts previously celebrated between the two parts. Disrespecting those contracts can turn the life of South Africans even more difficult.

 

As I told, I am not sure about the real reasons. It’s just the general idea I have from reading and listening here and there. I could be wrong. Anyway, what is a surprise to me is the incapacity authorities have to give a fair explanation. Don’t South Africans deserve the simple truth?

 

I don’t know about the rest of the world, but the impact of the recent Worldwide Blackout Experiment in Africa was none. It seems senseless to ask five minutes of blackout in countries where an average of eighty per cent of the population doesn’t have access to electricity due to the costs involved. And our South African neighbours, living in the most developed country in Africa, are currently dealing with daily cuts of hours.

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