Monday, January 28, 2008

Oh the irony!

Harping on again about the power situation here is proving to a great, if depressing, topic of conversation. Not the least because of peoples reactions but I can't help but think that this was bound to happen eventually. What I am referring to is that for every action taken there are consequences and sometimes there are unexpected and unintended.

Taking our current situation, Cosatu has been on the safety bandwagon with the mines and, I think, legitimately so for quite some time so when the mines said that they were having to close due to safety issues due to inadequate power - Cosatu couldn't really argue with their reasons. Something else that is close to Cosatu's heart is jobs because, quite rightly, they do understand that without jobs being created, this economy like all others is doomed. Unfortunately, the mines closing is probably going to lead to job losses. Possibly not but it probably will, we can only tell as time goes on. Tracing the cause of the job losses backwards to Eskom we have Eskom and the Government pointing fingers at each other but at the end of the day, it seems to me that the lack of power is not simply a matter of lack of investment as requested in 1997 but a sustained lack of maintenance as well with maybe some unfortunate weather thrown in. I think pretty much everyone agrees right now that there is a strong case for arguing incompetence on the part of Eskom during the last 10 years. Now the question is, how did a previously vaguely competent organisation, as in we have never previously had this scale of problem, get to this point and sooner or later someone is going to put forward BEE or Affirmative Action as the culprit. Of course, Affirmative Action and BEE is also close to Cosatu since they are part of the tri-partite alliance that has been ruling for the last 14 years so if it wasn't, how on earth did it manage to get through parliament.

So now we get to see, does Cosatu value Safety, Jobs or Affirmative Action more.

As a disclaimer in case anyone thinks that I am against affirmative action and BEE, I'm not but affirmative action or BEE without due regard for ability to actually perform the job I am definitely against.

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