Friday, April 4, 2008

Electricity Shortages

So I was talking to my parents today and the first thing my dad says is “If we lose our connection, it’s because they are cutting off electricity for hours at a time here”. About 10 minutes into our conversation, sure enough, the connection was gone. Unfortunately, for them, it is 4:30, time for dinner. This is the 3rd day of electricity shortages. And this from a country that is supposed to host the World Cup in 2010 – yes, South Africa! Apparently, people have been warning that this would happen and now it has. The domino effect has already started. Hospitals are being closed due to a lack of electricity. Mines are being shut down due to a lack of electricity. If mines are being shut down, the mines are losing LOTS of money (isn’t diamonds what South Africa is known for?). Then the workers are not getting paid because the mine can’t afford to pay them if the mine isn’t producing. My mind is racing with the implications of being without electricity. Can businesses continue without power for their computers? What happens when there isn’t medical care because there is not sufficient electricity? Unless something is done soon, the country will dissolve back into the status of a 3rd world country. So what happens to the World Cup? Can South Africa truly afford to focus on this when their own people don’t even have electricity?

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