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There is an irresistibly powerful and compelling historical background to understanding the roots of the apparently interminable Eskom crisis, which has had devastating consequences for our society, especially the poor in townships and rural areas who do not have generators to switch on and the resources to run and maintain them when there is load-shedding.

It is as a result of this background that Busi Mavuso, a nonexecutive director on the board of Eskom, could assert recently in a briefing to parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) that it is the ruling ANC government that is primarily responsible for the recurring crises at Eskom. This assertion was based on load-shedding beginning for the first time in Eskom’s history in 2008, against a particular background in which numerous calls were made for the ANC to build new electricity generation capacity to cope with steadily increasing demand in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but to no avail...

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