Energy and the Apartheid State

Modern industry and commerce rely on energy to function. In South Africa, this energy sector was dominated, throughout the period of 1948 to 1994, by state-led power suppliers, most notably, the Electrical Supply Commission (Escom) and Sasol. In addition, there was the Atomic Energy Corporation (AEC). These companies made up the bulwark of the energy […]

Parastatals and Energy in South Africa

Politics and the social fabric of society are very much interlinked with economics. In the words of Lenin, states and other key economic players want to maintain control over the “commanding heights” to exert their will over the country.[1] In South Africa, these commanding heights refer to the Mineral-Energy Complex (MEC).[2] In mining rested the […]

Eskom’s Implementation of the De Villiers Commission

Come 1984, Escom (Escom and Eskom will be used interchangeably) was flagging. In response to protests against the electricity monopoly, then president, PW Botha, appointed the De Villiers Commission of Inquiry to investigate solutions to the institutions problems.[1] This Commission had the fundamental purpose of restructuring the management of Escom to transform the institution into […]

An Austrian Approach to Escom-Eskom’s Downfall

This paper analyses the history of Escom/Eskom from its founding to the end of the 20th century, with the aim of establishing the key reasons why Eskom has become a failing parastatal. This paper ultimately found Escom/Eskom’s downfall to be inherent in its existence as a state company and its flawed price structure. Introduction As […]