The annual Investing in Africa Mining Indaba has wrapped up in Cape Town. Here are a few of the things we learned at this year’s event.
Gwede Mantashe: closet capitalist or alien invasion?
The minister for minerals and energy was on a roll at the indaba, waxing lyrical about how a proposed rival power firm to Eskom would bring in competition, which he said would be a good thing.
“We have to go back to the days when we had a surplus of energy, as a surplus and competition in generation will push the price of electricity down,” he said. He made this point several times.
The person who uttered these words looked exactly like Mantashe and had his voice down pat. But his embrace of market concepts such as competition and its effect on prices was a startling departure for a red-blooded unionist and member of the SACP. It was almost as if an alien had taken over his body, rather like in the 1956 sci-fi movie The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. He even invited the private sector to invest in this proposed rival to Eskom. Details remain sketchy on “Eskom II” but the alien invasion appears to…