Government had plenty of warning on Electricity Capacity

4 February 2008

You’ve probably read about the Energy White Paper published in 1998 that predicted that demand for electricity would exceed Eskom’s generated supply in 2006/7 if measures were not taken to increase capacity (e.g. here, here, here and here).

But the warnings didn’t stop there. Besides raising this issue repeatedly in the National Assembly’s Minerals & Energy Portfolio Committee in Parliament between 1999 and 2004, the Democratic Alliance, for one, also highlighted it during the plenary debates on the Minerals & Energy Budget Vote in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007.

The DA has justifiably grilled the government for ignoring these warnings in the last couple of weeks, and called for ministers and officials to be held accountable for their poor planning. But we’ve also proposed some immediate and medium-term solutions that go beyond the government’s own rescue plan to restore reliable electricity capacity.

There’s definitely a lack of faith in Eskom’s – and, by extention, the government’s – ability to rectify the problem. They’ve got a lot of work ahead of them to address the crisis, as well as public perceptions of their handling of the situation.



  1. Eskom is the spine what’s crippeling our country – a backbone with no bone isn’t worth mentioning at all.

    The ANC have ignored this issue for over 10 years. I’m sorry to say but they are reaping exacly what they have sown for themselves. If it wasn’t for our liquidity in Gold, South Africa would be in serious (yes it could be worse than what it is now) trouble.

    The rand is seemingly stuck in a downward spiral with nothing cushioning the rock bottom.

    Many thanks guys


  2. Hi guys, I think that the Energy crisis is the narrow end of a very large wedge that will soon cripple this last remaining hope for Africa. Policies of our greedy government such as BEE, AFIRMATIVE ACTION (or no action), preferencial awarding of tenders and NEPOTISM,

  3. apart from Ministers falling asleep (maybe to get ‘cleverer’) in parliament, are the root cause of most of our woes.

  4. It is important that government learns from the current energy crisis. Poor planning and no accountability has led us into a situation where growth this year is not likely to be higher than 4%. The next problem is likely to be water. Proper investment in infrastructure is going to be required as a matter of urgency.

  5. A matter of urgency..

    it took them 10 years to figure this one out, here’s to hoping that 2010 will beat it into their thick skulls that there’s a DIRE need to a few drastic measures to be taken across the nation! (I’m not talking about bitching about the black ratio in Cricket either…idiots.)

    SA, I hope that you make it through the next 10 years. Hopefully my kids will have the honour of going up Table Mountain one day too…

  6. […] of the energy crisis Earlier this month, we pointed out that the Government had plenty of warning about the looming energy crisis, and that the DA had repeatedly raised the issue in Parliament over the last few […]

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