17 January 2008

No More Power Cuts! Potlines, Out!

The first Umsebenzi Online of the year is out. The Red Alert lead article, as usual by SACP GS Dr Blade Nzimande, is linked below, and can be downloaded as an MS-Word file formatted for printing as a four-page study text. The Communist University is going to exploit the Red Alerts this year more than before. There is a new distribution group for Umsebenzi Online which now has more than 1100 members.

The CU itself has passed the psychologically-important 1500 members mark. Why is it psychologically important? For the same reason as the gold price hitting $900 per ounce, i.e. no reason. That’s psychology!

ANC Treasurer-General Mathews Phosa is a calm leader. His article in yesterday’s Star is timely and will assist. See the link below.

Donwald Pressly’s article from the Business Report, about SACP Deputy GS Jeremy Cronin and interest rates, shows clearly that the bourgeoisie is not fixated on the use of interest rates as a way of attacking inflation. That idea is the kind of idea that used to be called “voodoo economics”. The rate hikes themselves are inflationary. The causes of inflation, which are external, cannot be touched by internal measures. There is a good basis for a successful unity-in-action against this non sequitur “inflation targeting”. See the link below.

The bourgeoisie is not always completely lacking in common sense. Matthew Lester of the Sunday Times Business section has some sensible things to say about the unnecessary case against ANC President Jacob Zuma, and as a tax expert he knows what he is talking about.

The next item, from the London Times, gives an account of coup-plotting by British Intelligence in Italy, some time ago (1976). The article itself has every appearance of being an intelligence job, in which case it is not really about the past, but more about the present. It is a signal that these spooks are still on the job, and still doing their dirty trade. The remedy against such plotters is more and better popular intelligence, in both senses of the word. Political education the antidote to spookery. See the linked article below.

In the last linked item before "Coming Events, a comrade, Roger Roman, has sent an article to the CU that makes the point that the land question will not be solved by agrarian reform. Read the article to see what he means.

And now for our "cover story".

The aluminium "potlines" (see images) on the East Coast, from Mozambique to Coega, are sucking the power out of our country. Aluminium metal is separated from its oxidate by raw electricity, applied day and night, in long lines of “pots”. Each of these big potline arrays, installed since 1994, takes power equivalent to a whole city the size of Johannesburg.

The potlines are never turned off, but Eskom will turn your power off without warning. The potlines are getting power for next to nothing and they pay no increases, whereas you pay much more in the first place and then you are going to have an increase of 14%, and then another, and then another.
There are hardly any jobs in the sheds where the "potlines" are. The aluminium ore does not come from here. It is brought by ship. The aluminium metal produced does not belong to us, nor is it used by us. It is shipped out by Rio Tinto and other multinationals for sale elsewhere, and for their benefit, not ours.
The only reason the potlines are here is because, at the same time as Eskom was not building power stations, it was treacherously selling off our power at secret give-away prices to global multinationals, under Ministers of Energy such as Penuell Maduna and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. The reason for the secrecy is that if and when people realise that their power cuts are caused by these foreign potlines, they will toyi-toyi to have the potlines switched off and shipped out of the country.That is what should happen, and the sooner the better. Turn off the potlines! Turn them off now! Give priority to people, not potlines! No potlines unless there is power to spare for them! No more power cuts!

Click on these links:

Red Alert, Class, ideological and mass struggles post-Polokwane, Blade Nzimande (2170 words)

It is time for decisive leadership, Mathews Phosa, The Star (743 words)

Massage rates, says Cronin, Donwald Pressly, Business Report (571 words)

Bigger fish to fry than messy Zuma finances, Lester, Sunday Times (588 words)

Britain plotted overthrow of Italian Communists, Times, London (871 words)

Paradigms of land reform in SA, Roger Roman, Land for Peace (3282 words)

Coming Events


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