Eskom: Power, Politics and the (Post)apartheid State

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This riveting study shows how the intersection of technology and politics has shaped South African history since the 1960s. It is impossible to understand South Africa’s energy crisis without knowing this history. Faeeza Ballim’s deeply researched book challenges many prevailing assumptions and beliefs made regarding the crisis.

The book highlights the importance of technology to our understanding of South African history and challenges the idea that the technological state corporations were proxies for the apartheid government. While a part of the broader national modernization project under apartheid, these corporations also set the stage for worker solidarity and trade union organization in the Waterberg and elsewhere in the country. Faeeza Ballim argues that the state corporations, their technology, and their engineers enjoyed ambivalent relationships with the governments of their time. And in the democratic era, while Eskom has been caught up in the scourge of government corruption, it has retained a degree of organizational autonomy and offered a degree of resistance to those who were attempting further corrupt practices.

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