Guerrilla Technicians Challenge the Privatization of South Africa

| September 16, 2002 Issue

Guerrilla Technicians Challenge the Privatization of South Africa's Public Resources, Chris Smith, In These Times
Privatization of energy and water in South Africa has increased costs of services by up to 400 percent, forcing thousands of households to lose these vital services. But an organization of renegade technicians has come to their aid. Chris Smith writes in In These Times about how the Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee (SECC) is challenging the command of big companies such as Eskom, the state-owned electricity company that increased families' bills fourfold after the government handed them control. "In the process, the group has given voice to a growing sentiment among ordinary South Africans that the governing African National Congress (ANC) has betrayed its progressive roots," writes Smith, "and that many of its policies--the World Bank-supported privatization of state-run electricity and water distribution, in particular--have increased their suffering while enriching elites and international corporations."
--Julie Madsen
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