Cape Town Power Outage: Election Bluster Alert

In South Africa’s media, the stories of the Cape Town power outage crisis and the 2006 local government elections have begun to read as one in the last few days – and achieved an especially tight tango yesterday, when the Minister for Public Enterprises, Alec Erwin, announced that the Koeberg nuclear power plant had been sabotaged.

Koeberg is at the source of Cape Town’s electricity woes, and the past two weeks’ worth of rolling blackouts have caused much disgruntlement amongst the city’s middle-class voters, with the result that the ANC‘s grip on the local reins of power is under threat.

Follow the stories:




While SA Blog wouldn’t care to rule out the possibility of sabotage until it has been investigated – in the past ten years, Cape Town has never had power problems like this – the city’s growth, poor planning on the part of electricity provider Eskom, and untimely coincidence surely comprise the root cause of the problem, which any act of sabotage would have merely exacerbated. If anything, the timing of Erwin’s announcement is what smells rotten here, and SA Blog officially pronounces it to be election bluster.