The national government needs to recognise that the energy crisis requires a society solution, says the DA.
DA LEADER John Steenhuisen has outlined what his party believes are the most critical interventions that may solve the country’s ongoing electricity crisis.
The recommendations are rooted in the DA’s policies on both energy and state-owned enterprises, which prioritise the focus of energy generation and procurement on finding reliable and affordable electricity for everyone in the country by means of of a competitive energy sector.
Steenhuisen said there are urgent steps aimed at securing short-term electricity supply and medium-term steps, which he believes should have been implemented years ago for the sustainability of the country’s energy sector.
“It is crucial that both the short-term and medium-term interventions happen concurrently. Some of these interventions lie within Eskom, and some lie outside of the state-owned utility, where the bulk of our future energy solutions will ultimately have to come from.
“Capable local governments, in particular, can do much to shield their residents from load shedding while also relieving the pressure on Eskom if the national government were to simply get out of the way. Several DA-run metros and municipalities are already well under way in their efforts to become less reliant on Eskom,” he said.
He said the national government needs to recognise that the energy crisis requires a society solution. Mentioning the short-term interventions, he said the country could, in the meantime:
1. Waive all local content requirements for electricity procurement. The only priority now is restoring our supply.
2. Issue a blanket Section 34 determination so that all municipalities in good financial standing can procure, generate and store their own electricity.
3. Declare a ring-fenced State of Disaster in the electricity sector, not a State of Emergency, which is inappropriate, but a State of Disaster which will suspend all legislation currently blocking solutions to this crisis.
4. Waive all preferential procurement requirements. Only the quickest and cheapest solutions will do, and we cannot afford the extra layer of cost that BEE adds.
5. Incentivise and ease the regulations on small-scale embedded generation such as rooftop solar.
He said that he believes that if these interventions are put into place,the country can be one step ahead of ensuring that load shedding is a thing of the past.
“Each of these steps is critical to the recovery of our electricity generation capacity, and they must be announced without delay. If ever there was a moment to shake this presidency from its slumber and inaction, it is this electricity crisis which threatens to sink our economy and plunge millions more South Africans into unemployment and poverty,” concluded Steenhuisen.