About the DA’s Energy team

Hendrik Schmidt MPHendrik Schmidt MP is the Democratic Alliance’s spokesperson on Minerals and Energy. He has been a member of Parliament since 1999. Before that, between 1994 and 1999, he was a senior state advocate at the Attorney General’s Office and Director of Public Prosecutions in the Witwatersrand Local Division. He was also a councillor in the Northern Metropolitan Local Council (Randburg) between 1995 and 1999. Hendrik started out as a public prosecutor in the District and Regional Courts in Johannesburg. He has an LLM from RAU (now called the University of Johannesburg) and an LLB and B.Iuris from Unisa.

Gareth Morgan MP

Gareth Morgan MP is the DA’s spokesperson on Environmental Affairs and is the former deputy spokesperson on Energy. He is also a previous Parliamentary Counsellor to the Leader of the Opposition. He has been a member of Parliament since 2004. Gareth attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar between 2000 and 2003, where he read for a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, as well as an M.Sc. in Environmental Change and Management (hence his particular interest in and focus on renewable energy and sustainable development). Gareth worked as a media officer for the then-DP during the 1999 election campaign and, prior to that, completed a B.Com and Honours in Political Science at the University of Natal in Pietermartizburg. He is currently a member of the G8+5 Climate Dialogue.



  1. Sir,
    It is preposterous that the government of the day expects an already cash-strapped public to pay for Eskom to reinvent the wheel; 53% on top of a 14,2% tariff increase? Any govt official should be aware that a move such as this will put a stranglehold on the economy that not even Tito Mboweni could rescue.
    Could the govt not re-direct the world cup R10billion additional funding into the energy recovery plan? The stadia will benefit but a few whereas energy is a national problem. R200 million for generators, in case there are outages – what happens after 2010, sell the generators to friends & family at a loss? State departments who underspend on budgets – let Trevor Manual impose savings, voluntary or otherwise, start from a zero based budget & see the extent of the surplusses that could rescue the TAX PAYERS from incompetence. If my memory serves me honourably, Correctional Services vote spent R34 million on entertainment +/- 2 years ago? Do we need uncontrolled State spending without any form of accountability and then target the man in the street for financial recovery so that the likes of Alec Irwin can stay on to pick up a handsome pension & golden handshake for being ineffectual?
    What do we need to do to get the Iron Lady in the driving seat?

  2. Hi

    The DA has been a bit quite regarding this latest news about the severe Eskom tariff hikes. I take it this means that you don’t see it as such a bad thing. Can anything be done by the public to avoid being raped by this monopoly of essential services?

    • Jacques
      Thanks for your remark but you are not correct. For us it is a massive crisis and we will do our best to fight it. The problem is that we cannot just be negative but must give solutions. That is what we are busy with I am including a press release that almost no newspaper placed but we will find other methods to get it across.
      I hope this release will give you a fair idea on what we are busy with


      Cobus Schmidt
      DA Deputy Shadow Minister of Energy

      Press Statement
      The DA is seriously concerned about the proposed tariff increase application that Eskom has made to Nersa. Eskom applied for a 45% increase for each of the next 3 years or a once of 146% increase followed by more realistic 12% and 10% increases in the next 2 years.
      The DA believes that South Africa cannot afford this and that an alternative solution or funding structure must be found. We also believe that Eskom is not run cost effectively and that the government, as sole shareholder, must take responsibility for the mess Eskom is in.
      We, as the DA, will therefore send as strong a team as possible to the public hearings of Nersa. This will consist of our spokespersons of Energy, Public Enterprises, Agriculture, Economics and others. We believe that Nersa, as the national energy regulator, should and must make the right decision if all relevant information as well as alternatives are put on the table.
      We are therefore providing members of the public as well as any interested party with a e-mail address so that they can sent us proposals and suggestions on what they think is the correct way to go. We are also interested in information surrounding the lack of cost-effectiveness at Eskom so that we can again demonstrate to Nersa that the proposed increases are by far too high.
      Everyone is invited to send the information to the following address: cobus@da.fs.org.za
      All information will be handled confidentially and will not be used without the permission of the sender.

  3. I do often go government buildings for work reasons.

    One subjective observation I have made is that
    people in government buildings often have heaters on. I have been inside buidlings, and felt hot..
    and thought that in view of energy problems..
    putting on warm cloathing is a better idea.
    I myself lived in a flat, without space heating, for
    many years.

    I guess that many of these people would not have
    heaters on, if they know about the electricity costs involved. But.. maybe my observation is subjective and an inaccurate generalization.. but the following might be an exercise worth considoring..

    Find a suitable thermal imaging camera.. and a little after sunset.. in various places around the country, drive past various buildings, and determine
    which buildings are emmitting heat. Buidings that
    have had heaters on during the day, will be a little
    hotter than other building. The DA might, or might not be able
    to deal with much electricity wastage, …

    Trevor Reid
    P O Box 2100

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