ELECTRIC CARS FOR SOUTH AFRICA? MAYBE, BUT...

Car (South Africa) - - MAIL - JO­HAN TERBLANCHE Fran­schhoek

So much has been pub­lished about the bene ts of full electric cars but there is a down­side to all this hype. First World progress could be­come a Third World disas­ter if we ig­nore the con­se­quences of such progress in coun­tries such as ours. As much as we would all like to see electric hook-ups all over our beloved coun­try, I doubt if any­body has ever tried to doc­u­ment the nal im­pact it would have in terms of our (un)em­ploy­ment.

What hap­pened to our rail trans­port? Rail net­works do not em­ploy a huge num­ber of peo­ple, so it was dis­con­tin­ued in favour of thou­sands of big trucks in­stead, dam­ag­ing our roads, but it pro­vides em­ploy­ment to thou­sands. The govern­ment sup­ports peo­ple, not the coun­try.

I am not an electric spe­cial­ist nor a politi­cian but I can fore­see huge is­sues when petrol sta­tions start to close down and even­tu­ally petrol at­ten­dants be­come ob­so­lete, to men­tion just one pos­si­ble sce­nario.

Service sta­tions will be­come small electric sta­tions with­out the need to drain oil and what­ever is nec­es­sary to keep petrol and diesel cars hum­ming. Again, more peo­ple will be­come un­em­ployed. What about all those com­pa­nies that man­u­fac­ture things like ex­hausts, ra­di­a­tors, etc. All of these will ei­ther re­duce staff or just have to close down. The end re­sult would be more un­em­ployed peo­ple, more strikes and more crime.

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