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There was an article in the Guardian noting that the power problems may even jeopardize the World Cup

On any serious analysis even South Africa's ability to stage the 2010 World Cup was extremely dubious. The key facts were:

  • The monopoly state electricity supplier, Eskom, predicted with complete accuracy that by the end of 2007 it would not have sufficient power not just to face peak demand but normal base load.

  • Already South Africa's reserve electricity supply was down to 8-10% instead of the international benchmark of 15-20%.

  • Electricity consumption grows more or less pari passu with economic growth. With the economy growing at around 5% per annum, electricity demand would increase by over 25% by 2010, so that well before the World Cup the country would be utterly incapable of delivering normal services across the board.

  • It takes seven to eight years to build a major new power station, so even if emergency construction began in 2005 (and it didn't) there was no hope of changing the situation before 2010.

Now the bell has really tolled and public opinion is aghast at the enormity of this failure of governance - the government had for six years deliberately banned the building of new power stations, even when Eskom begged to be allowed to do so.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Feb 7th, 2008 at 03:57:21 PM EST

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