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- DescriptionAfrica's leading producer of electricity, Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd, is also a vertically integrated mopoly, owned by the South African state. This national champion was shaken in 2008, when it was obliged to introduce 'load shedding', or rolling blackouts, and again in late 2014. Since then, there has been an accumulation of grid dysfunctions, scheduled blackouts and blackout warnings. Trying to understand how and why one of the iconic pillars of South African state capitalism is w in distress, the authors of this book argue that the so-called electricity crisis is in fact a public mopoly crisis. Moving beyond technical aspects, they explore the relationship between state power and Eskom before, during and after apartheid. From this perspective, they suggest that the current technical and financial troubles of this public utility are illustrative of the weakening of its techpolitical regime, of how national institutions have governed Eskom's techlogical development, and of the pursuit of political goals in the production of electrical power. Without a clear industrial strategy during the 2000s, Eskom became a powerful tool of Broad-Black Ecomic Empowerment as well as a neopatrimonial system which generates profits captured by the ruling party. As a result, crisis in Eskom shakes the whole political edifice. Inefficient and its finances increasingly under scrutiny, this state-owned enterprise's existence as a mopolistic public utility is regularly a subject of debate. The authors propose that the solutions for dealing with the crisis all point in the direction of de-integrating this public mopoly and allowing its current techpolitical regime to enter a planned or natural decline.
- Author BiographyAlain Dubresson, Emeritus Professor of Geography at the University of Paris Ouest-Nanterre-La Defense, France has published several books on African urban development and infrastructure, in particular about South Africa. Sylvy Jaglin is Professor of Urban Studies at the University of Paris-Est Marne-La Vallee, France. Her research focuses on urban governance and the effective delivery of basic infrastructure services in the Global South.
- Author(s)Alain Dubresson,Sylvy Jaglin
- PublisherJuta Academic
- Date of Publication30/08/2016
- SubjectRegional History
- Place of PublicationCape Town
- Country of PublicationSouth Africa
- ImprintUniversity of Cape Town Press
- Width152 mm
- Height228 mm
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