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


By Faeeza Ballim

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.

Organisational autonomy

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 modernisation project under apartheid, these corporations also set the stage for worker solidarity and trade union organisation 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 organisational autonomy and offered a degree of resistance to those who were attempting further corrupt practices.

About the author

Faeeza Ballim is a senior lecturer in history at the University of Johannesburg. Her research interests lie at the intersection of key themes in African history and science and technology studies. She is also the co-editor of a multi-volume series entitled Translating Technology in Africa.

  • PUBLISHER | Jacana Media |
  • ISBN | 9781431434008 |
  • Recommended Retail Price | R280.00 |
  • Classification | Current Affairs, Management, Politics |



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here