The government is preventing the private sector from being a solution to SA’s rising poverty and declining economy, despite the protestations of policy makers and bureaucrats. This is very much the case when it comes to electricity generation and distribution. Currently, electricity is monopolised by state-owned Eskom, which came under fire for the series of major blackouts in 2008, and has since had its mismanagement revealed. Eskom is an excellent case study of why the public sector is not an ideal supplier, having failed to produce an adequate amount of electricity to fuel the economy and satisfy consumer demand. In 1998, SA had the opportunity to avoid the contemporary mess by privatising the electricity industry. But it did not take it. Originally founded to regulate power companies into providing cheap power to mines, what was then called Escom evolved into a state-owned company with the exclusive right to provide electricity for the entire country. As this new entity, it was ...

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