See also:
» 02.03.2011 - Zuma; many wives, many official cars
» 07.02.2011 - Outrage over Zuma's hell-threats to voters
» 04.06.2010 - SA press digs into Zuma's sex life
» 28.05.2010 - "al-Bashir would be arrested in SA" - Zuma
» 13.04.2010 - SA media challenges ban in Terreblanche's case
» 09.04.2010 - Is it too late to avert SA's war...?
» 08.04.2010 - Security tight for Terre Blanche’s funeral
» 06.04.2010 - Kill the Boer or Boer Republic?

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Politics | Economy - Development | Health | Society

Mbeki assures 2010 World Cup

afrol News, 8 February - South African President Thabo on Friday delivered the much anticipated state of nation address, apologising the nation for the troubles caused by the power crisis. He allayed fears that the power crisis would hamper his country's hosting of the World Cup in 2010.

President assured his government’s resolve to address all its compelling challenges "in a relatively short period."

"It is... necessary to take this opportunity to convey to the country the apologies of both the government and [state power utility] Eskom for the national emergency," he said thanking South Africans for their "resilience and forbearing".

"In essence, the significant rise in electricity demand of the last two years has outstripped the new capacity we have brought on stream."

"We face an emergency but we can overcome the problems in a relatively short period," Mbeki said, adding that blackouts should be seen as a challenge to South Africa to become more energy efficient.

Mbeki said the government was employing concrete steps to tackle the energy crisis. This includes focus on reducing consumer demand and investing in the longer-term in new generation capacity.

"On the supply side, Eskom is working furiously to ensure the introduction of co-generation projects as a matter of urgency," he told Parliament.

"We are taking steps to enhance Eskom's maintenance capacity. We have emergency task teams dealing with the challenge of coal quality and supply ... and we are working to fast-track the approval and construction of gas turbine projects."

"I am aware of the fact that many in our society are troubled by a deep sense of unease about where our country will be tomorrow," Mbeki told parliament in Cape Town. These concerns include power crisis and high cost of living.

"I have absolutely no doubt that we will honour our undertaking to FIFA and the world community of soccer players and lovers to create all the necessary conditions for the holding of the best ever FIFA Soccer World Cup tournament," he said.

President Mbeki had received several calls from investors to remedy the looming blackouts, which took great toll on gold and platinum mining.

He expressed the government's commitment to defeat poverty, provide universal access to water, sanitation and electricity by 2014. It will also boost implementation of programs geared towards combating HIV/AIDS.

The new leader of the governing African National Congress, Jacob Zuma, has hailed Mbeki for delivering a speech full of positive indication.

President Mbeki's audience included his almost 90-year-old mother who expects truth as the only birthday present from South African leaders.

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