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Some outperform others in their veracity. Rather, Eskom rushed in, built the infrastructure and then wasn’t even making the minuscule income it could with its prices due to non-paying customers. Commission of Inquiry into the Supply of Electricity in the Republic of South Africa. As such, only those who stand out as most relevant will be addressed. [51] Escom, Annual report, Johannesburg: Eskom, 1985, [1986], 6. Jim Peron (Auckland: Institute for Liberal Values, 2003), 85-92. Kantor (1988) argues convincingly that Eskom should have at least just priced to cover its costs. If left alone, hopefully Eskom would have seen the writing on the wall and built more power plants. It was ordered by decree and not by market demand. Kenny, especially, provides the only insight from an avowedly libertarian historian. The alternative to a free market is a planned economy, or heavily intervened one, where prices are distorted. They were the capital holders and needed electricity the most. This paper ultimately found Escom/Eskom’s downfall to be inherent in its existence as a state company and its flawed price structure. They were wrong. [12] If left without distortion, a proper price mechanism feeds information to economic agents through fluctuating costs relating to their production and the prices they can reasonably charge for their products. [45] Grove Steyn, Eskom: Are we missing the opportunity to learn from history? [21] Leonard Gentle, “Escom to Eskom: From racial Keynesian capitalism to neo-liberalism (1910-1994),” in Electric Capitalism: Recolonising Africa on the Power Grid, ed. What this saw was vast restructuring of South Africa’s bloated public sector, with new political appointments across the board to ensure the loyalty of the enterprises to the new government. Interestingly, Andrew Kenny (2015) disagrees that Escom faced Afrikanerisation. [31] William Hoyt of South African Railways was also instrumental in his call for the VFPC to face state competition or even expropriation. No doubt, it once performed its function of supplying electricity admirably. [17] As a state institution, even if unique in its structures, Escom was still state-owned and thus did not have the incentives that a free market alternative would have. [3] This paper posits that the structures of Escom as an institution and enterprise were rotten from the beginning, due to its political foundation as a tool to provide unsustainably cheap electricity to the mineral-energy complex. His scrutiny provides some of the more issue-specific backing to this paper’s analysis on Eskom’s prices. Disastrously, in anticipation of the possible privatisation, government banned Eskom from constructing new power plants. When it does not, it loses money. Regardless, this period of faltering saw protests against Escom, with people calling to “stop the rot”. Prices provide incentives to produce. 2 (2000):  203-223. [122] Southall, “The ANC, black economic empowerment and state-owned enterprises: a recycling of history?” 205. With the information garnered from this paper, hopefully researchers and policy-makers will be able to push policies that address the issue inherent in all state enterprises and avoid the continuing downfall of our economy and industrial society. En naviguant sur ce site, vous acceptez la politique d'utilisation des cookies, Stage thématique Chimie et Procédés verts, Accompagnement des étudiants internationaux, Quality Hygiene Safety / ToxicologyJoining. If conservation is to be taken seriously, then prices need to rise accordingly to control supply. It is no wonder this system fell apart! Without competition, Escom/Eskom lacked the proper price mechanism to determine a prudent cost of electricity. [19] While Escom was founded in the service of a few mining magnates and their government allies, this paper is analysing Escom as an economic entity with an intended purpose. As the main source of capital in the country, of course the MEC would wield political power. Jim Peron (Auckland: Institute for Liberal Values, 2003), 59. [50] Cooling international relations also saw a tightening of Escom’s ability to receive foreign loans, integral for its expansion.[51]. “The Two Faces of Privatisation: Political and Economic Logics in Transitional South Africa,” Journal of Modern African Studies 38, no. “Energy, environment and Urban Poverty in South Africa.” Energy Policy 21, no. Christie, Renfrew. While a myriad of historians have approached the topic from slightly different angles, the ideologies and theoretical approaches of each historian remains similar, at the risk of not examining the material with a new lens. 71 (2010): 3-25. [109] Escom, Annual report, Johannesburg: Eskom, 1994, [1995], 9. This is an oft cited reason for Eskom’s eventual productive failure. Costs might rise, but that is a small price to pay for sustainability and the avoidance of crisis. What it could have at least done, which it did not, is price to cover costs.

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