Africa-Press – South-Africa. The DA says its new energy and electricity policy is the building block South Africa needs to build an “energy secure” economy to bring about jobs and investment.
On Monday, the party presented several interventions to increase the country’s electricity capacity at a press briefing in Cape Town.
DA MP and spokesperson on energy Kevin Mileham said, in the short term, South Africa needed to secure the amount of power made available by Eskom’s fleet of plants to meet minimum customer demands.
At the same time, he added, alternative sources of supply must be explored to meet the country’s requirements.
“The underlying premise of the DA’s policy is that, in view of the dire state of the country’s electricity generation capacity, South Africa should be making it easy, not difficult, for IPPs [independent power producers] to bring new power at scale and in the shortest possible time.”
Government is doing away with its own red tape to rapidly add energy to the grid
Mileham said the government should speedily bring new electricity generation and storage capacity online and attract and incentivise investment in embedded generation and IPPs.
“Ease the onerous regulatory burden that inhibits a speedier rollout of these technologies.”
He added a “just transition” towards lower-carbon technologies required reducing the risks faced by people who might be most adversely affected.
“It includes workers, poor communities, and small businesses. There needs to be a clear transition plan which will upskill and reskill former coal sector workers as well as reducing barriers for community owned projects to compete,” Mileham said.
On Monday, ministers of the Energy Crisis Committee announced several steps were being taken to achieve the objectives of the power plan announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week.
The government’s two main objectives is to improve the performance of Eskom’s power stations, while adding as much new generation capacity to the grid as possible.
Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele announced six power stations have been identified to have maintenance prioritised.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, in turn, said Eskom intended to fund its maintenance internally first.
The Reserve Bank, energy and SOEs: Ramaphosa’s policy direction wins over ANC delegates
Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana added Eskom had not yet approached National Treasury for maintenance funding, saying if the need arose Treasury would respond.
On the high fuel costs, DA MP Ghaleb Cachalia, also party spokesperson on public enterprises, said: “In order to promote a competitive fuel industry with low retail prices for consumers, there is an urgent need to remove government taxes, levies and price controls on liquid fuels to promote competition and ease the cost of living for all South Africans.”
He added the country needed a competitive energy market where the state did not have a monopoly on energy generation, supply, and distribution.
“There should be a multiplicity of private suppliers competing with one another to provide the best service and lowest price. This requires making it easier for energy suppliers to enter and participate in energy markets,” Cachalia said.