ON NATIONAL television, NUMSA official Phakamile Jola claimed that the cyclone which destroyed “90 percent” of Beira, a city of about a half-million people ‘was a lie’. Apparently, the resulting loss of power from the massive Cahora Bassa hydroelectric scheme which powers Gauteng, is merely a ruse by our government to promote privatization of Eskom.
Beira is Mozambique’s fourth largest and faces the Indian Ocean, while the inland Cahora Bassa scheme in Tete province was unfortunately in the path of the storm which also wreaked havoc in Malawi and Zimbabwe.
The power lines came down over the weekend, causing massive power outages in South Africa.
The shameful failure to get to grips with climate change and baseload energy dynamics comes at the expense not only of Mocambicans, but the poor and unemployed of South Africa.
In an editorial, Zimbabwe’s state-run Herald newspaper said that climate change was responsible for the extreme weather, and that the country must brace itself for more. “Tropical Cyclone Idai brings vital lessons that climate change is now with us’.
Some 850 000 people are affected.
NUMSA continue in their legal challenge on behalf of well-heeled coal truckers in the country seemingly oblivious to the suffering caused by climate change, the result of emissions from mammoth coal-fired power-plants such as Medupe and Kusile.
While privatization may not be the only solution to Eskom’s woes, IPPs are certainly part of the necessary corrective to the state monopoly and its over-reliance on state-sponsored debt to drive expension.