Archive for the ‘Policy and analysis’ Category


The electricity crisis and climate change – poor timing

15 May 2008

I recently welcomed the completion of government’s Long Term Mitigation Scenarios (LTMS) on Climate Change. The LTMS document outlines the various policy options that may be necessary in order for this country to play its role in contributing to the stabilisation of the world’s climate.

I wonder whether Eskom is going to pay any attention to this document at all. Building new coal-fired power stations without the best technology, nor with the ability for future “carbon capture and storage“, does not align it with the likely responses needed for the mitigation of climate change.

I guess a couple of readers of this blog will just say, “So what! Eskom must keep the lights on.” True, but let us at least acknowledge that this electricity crisis and the rushed development plans that will flow out of it are going to make our response to climate change more difficult. Read the rest of this entry ?


Load shedding news – Eskom Tariff Increases would be Reckless

6 May 2008

Allowing Eskom’s requested 53 percent tariff increase would be reckless, the Democratic Alliance said last Tuesday. Expecting government and, in particular, the public to condone a 60 percent tariff increase was without grounds or basis.

“It is the DA’s view that an agreement to any additional tariff increases would be reckless in light of the prevailing failures by government and mismanagement on the part of Eskom,” said party minerals and energy spokesperson, Hendrik Schmidt.

In a submission to the National Energy Regulator (Nersa), tasked with regulating the electricity, piped-gas and petroleum pipeline industries, the DA said it recommended an independent inquiry into South Africa’s energy crisis before any tariff hikes could be considered. Read the rest of this entry ?


Videocast – DA Press conference on Eskom Restructuring

10 April 2008

The Democratic Alliance on Monday released a discussion document on Electricity Sector Reform – expanding on one of the longer-term proposals in our previous document proposing solutions to the energy crisis.

Below is a video excerpt of Hendrik Schmidt’s press conference, in which he sums up the key points of the document:

Vodpod videos no longer available. posted with vodpod

Read the rest of this entry ?


Energy Efficiency needs to be promoted for a Sustainable Future

14 March 2008

Gareth Morgan MPThe efficient use of energy needs to become a permanent phenomenon by both business and individual consumers. Cheap electricity generated by burning our abundant dirty coal resources has resulted in South Africans becoming exceptionally wasteful.

Up until now there have been few incentives or penalties created in order to alter the way we consume electricity. Meanwhile, the true cost of generation has been passed on to the communities that reside in the vicinity of power stations – in the form of health ailments – or to the environment in general, in the form of human-induced climate change.

Government has responded to the current electricity crisis by threatening action against consumers that do not cut back their consumption in the near future. While demand-side interventions, including energy efficiency and conservation, are among the obvious requirements needed to alleviate the current state of affairs, it should not have taken a crisis situation to induce government into action. The problem with forcing energy efficiency on consumers under such conditions is that it creates resentment. Many South Africans may understandably be wondering why they have to take the hit when it was government that created this mess in the first place. Read the rest of this entry ?


We need to end Eskom’s monopoly over electricity supply

13 February 2008

Hendrik Schmidt MPEskom’s monopoly over electricity supply is one of the main causes of South Africa’s electricity crisis. The permanent solution to our energy future lies in dismantling this monopoly. Until independent power producers (IPPs) are allowed to enter the market to expand and diversify the sources of power we have access to, and until we are relieved of the burden of having to rely on Eskom’s outdated and dilapidated processes and infrastructure, local demand for electricity will continue to exceed supply.

The Democratic Alliance will, in the coming Parliamentary session, pursue all available policy and legislative avenues to dismantle Eskom’s monopoly as the sole purchaser of electricity in South Africa. This move would see IPPs either being able to feed into the national grid, or to feed power directly to consumers, thereby reducing pressure on Eskom’s generation capacity. Read the rest of this entry ?


Helen Zille responds to an open letter on the energy crisis

7 February 2008

Helen Zille

Paul Jacobson wrote an open letter to DA Leader Helen Zille about the energy crisis on Wired Gecko last Friday. While he has had feedback from her office on the matter already, we thought Shedding Light would be the ideal platform from which to respond publicly.

Dear Paul

Thank you for the constructive suggestions towards solving the energy crisis. At this time, public discussion and creative solutions are much needed and appreciated.

Rest assured, the Democratic Alliance is doing all that is possible to provide solutions to alleviate the burden imposed on all South Africans by the crisis. To this end, we have presented to government a comprehensive plan that proposes short, medium and long term solutions, centred on three key areas: diversifying South Africa’s energy resources, reducing consumption and improving Eskom’s performance. Read the rest of this entry ?


Turning the lights on in our children’s future

1 February 2008

Helen ZilleDA leader Helen Zille, writing in SA Today this week, relates the current electricity crisis, as well as other potential infrastructure problems, to the skills shortages faced by the state, and the economy more generally.

The long term solution to ensuring our children’s future in a thriving economy supported by adequate infrastructure, Zille maintains, is excellent education. Please click here to read more.