On 12 November 2005, Business.Telegraph published a story titled Power transfer for the people about the electrical power supply situation in South Africa. The story does a good job of explaining the economic and developmental reasons why Eskom is developing the PBMR.
I have been following this technology project almost since it started in 1993, I can tell you that the project thought leaders were anticipating the development of the described conditions from the very beginning.
They fully recognized the limitations of their current distribution system, the need to supply electricity to an increasing number of people, and the risks and disadvantages of continuing to burn ever increasing quantities of coal. It has taken longer than expected to develop the PBMR, but that is no reason to slow down now. Fundamental shifts in technology take time, but they pay huge dividends in future years. Imagine where the world would be today if Fairchild Semiconductor had stopped its development work after only a dozen years of learning how to build better transistors.