Sunday, February 22, 2009

Electricity South Africa (Eskom)

The last time we visited the Republic of South Africa (RSA), she was in a mess with blackouts. Folks, the situation is the same, and getting worse. As the Americans will put it this is a real ‘snafu”, ‘situation normal, all fouled up’. The national electricity supplier (Eskom) is doing load-shedding, this is a glorified name for rotating blackouts.

Load shedding is what caused Ghana to shut down her kettles at the VALCO smelter in Tema, so the folks in Ghana can imagine what is going on in RSA. A plant is in the middle of melting steel, and the electric juice is shut off; the semi-molten slag solidifies, when the juice starts flowing again, it takes longer time to melt the previously molten slag, much less add anymore material to the vat.

With load shedding, gold extraction from the soil comes to a screeching halt, unless one can afford a standby generator, and with all the gold and diamond mining, you think there would by generators all over the country-side, wrong.

Now you see why I said it is scary for Namibia to be depending on South Africa for electricity.

Folks, this game preserve has more hippos than cheetahs.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Electricity Botswana (BPC)

Welcome to Botswana. Land of Diamond and Gold, but NO electricity. When you mention the top producers of gold and diamond, Botswana is right there with South Africa, Ghana and Sierra Leone.

Botswana produces less than 30% of the electricity she uses everyday; the balance of more than 70% is IMPORTED. The lion share of the electricity imported into Botswana comes form the Republic of South Africa.

This is very scary, because South Africa as you will remember from the earlier blog, is not in the best of shape. In recent months, Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) have raised electricity rates or tariffs, coupled with this are blackouts.

I will like to spend more time talking about this environment, but truthfully, I can barley see the flicker of light in this tunnel. Before I took on this topic, I use to think Botswana is doing well, because all the students I have met going to school outside Botswana, cannot wait to finish, because there is a job waiting for them.

Folks, this country is making a lot of money, so why can’t they buy diesel generators.
I hate to say this, but I see more hippos than cheetahs in this country.