Posts Tagged ‘National Assembly’

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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.

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