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South Africa on the edge

Par Cédric Gouverneur - Publié en novembre 2022
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Thirty years after the fall of apartheid, the country is facing multiple crises: low growth, scarce energy, record crime, corruption, persistent social inequalities inherited from segregation... The dream of a prosperous "rainbow nation" is getting further away every day.

André de Ruyter is "sorry". The managing director of the state-owned electricity company Eskom has nothing better to say to his customers, who are deprived of power on average three times a day, for two to four hours. These blackouts, modestly called "load shedding", are ruining the daily lives of 60 million South Africans, especially the poorest, those who cannot afford to buy a generator or solar panels. It is impossible to heat, cook, store food in the refrigerator, work on a computer... The situation is so catastrophic that in September, President Cyril Ramaphosa had to cut short his visit to Great Britain after the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. Decades of neglect and lack of investment in infrastructure have left Eskom unable to fulfill its mission. Ted Blom, an energy expert interviewed in late September by the eNCA news channel, points to the responsibility of André de Ruyter, who chose to slash maintenance operations in order...

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