DoE

Open up the electricity industry says David Lipschitz

SAAEA 20 November 2012.

There are alternatives to the strikes, unemployment and massive problems afflicting South Africa.

The population of South Africa is being hampered by government legislation that prevents private people and businesses from selling electricity across the national grid. Yet the energy policy white paper of 2003 says that competition should be allowed.

South Africa is at a state of war with itself because of rapidly rising prices and growing unemployment, similar to what is happening in Greece and Italy. The National Planning Commission’s report shows exactly how the unemployment figures are massaged and it is not good reading.

However, there is an alternative. Safe, green, sustainable, electricity, with the price coming down every year or at the very least never going up again – ever.

However, the government sees electricity as a cash cow, instead of realising that electricity is there to grow the economy. If the economy grows there will be less unemployment and therefore people who feel better about themselves, who earn rather than receive grants and who therefore strike less and cause fewer problems. People who work and earn a living feel good about themselves. People who receive grants feel terrible, although our government believes this is the only way to get votes, because they see these people as dependent on them for handouts!

If government allows electricity, transport, water, fuel, etc, costs to stop increasing and even start decreasing, by leveling the playing fields, as is envisaged in our policy and strategy, South Africa will grow as fast as the 25 countries in the world which are growing at greater than 5% per annum.

We might even grow like Ghana and other countries and like China has grown, ie at 10%+ per annum. At this rate, unemployment will be gone within 10 years. South Africa will be the richest country in the world. We have resources and we have population growth. With electricity we can turn these resources into finished goods for export to the world and especially Africa which will be the world’s biggest market within the next 10 years.

There will be no need to export our raw materials and jobs to countries which are adding Gigawatts to their electricity grids weekly and making the finished goods that South Africa needs, whilst using South African raw materials! Hence making our balance of payments and exchange rate worse at exactly the time these factors should be improving.

Although South Africa’a problems seem complex, they have a simple cause. When will we wake up and realise this?

Regards

David Lipschitz

2 Comments

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  • Indeed David “The population of South Africa is being hampered by government legislation that prevents private people and businesses from selling electricity across the national grid. Yet the energy policy white paper of 2003 says that competition should be allowed.”

    But frankly what else could we have expected when the Government has kept the old apartheid paradigm, which was mainly designed to develop the “first world” and capital through global trade, top down and centralized system ?

    Moreover many black connected elites, who have been cleverly bought in the old system by the BEE scheme became the best defenders of the system as they do not want to see any change that would undermine their bottom line. They and the party, which have interests in mines, nuclear, fracking, SASOL, Eskom development…make therefore sure that the latter develop despite the fact that they are not what the country needs.

    The refit, which was painfully defined for two years to open up the electricity sector has been summarily rejected and replaced by a system which keeps the sector in the hands of a few big ones.

    A new concept out of the apartheid box that reviews the energy sector to focus on decentralized small grid and renewable for development of local wealth instead of launching the fracking or building new based load plants such as nuclear and coal plants for further capital developments. It should be recognized that old players of the energy sector are confided in one old box wherein real decentralized renewables are abuse and Independent System Operator” (ISMO) the enemy.

    It is doubtful that the required changes will ever happen if they are no decision to review the whole economic system in a way that the latter service people instead of capaital.

    Regards

    PL

  • Indeed David “The population of South Africa is being hampered by government legislation that prevents private people and businesses from selling electricity across the national grid. Yet the energy policy white paper of 2003 says that competition should be allowed.”

    But frankly what else could we have expected when the Government has kept the old apartheid paradigm, which was mainly designed to develop the “first world” and capital through global trade, top down and centralized system ?

    Moreover many black connected elites, who have been cleverly bought in the old system by the BEE scheme became the best defenders of the system as they do not want to see any change that would undermine their bottom line. They and the party, which have interests in mines, nuclear, fracking, SASOL, Eskom development…make therefore sure that the latter develop despite the fact that they are not what the country needs.

    The refit, which was painfully defined for two years to open up the electricity sector has been summarily rejected and replaced by a system which keeps the sector in the hands of a few big ones.

    A new concept out of the apartheid box that reviews the energy sector to focus on decentralized small grid and renewable for development of local wealth instead of launching the fracking or building new based load plants such as nuclear and coal plants for further capital developments. It should be recognized that old players of the energy sector are confided in one old box wherein real decentralized renewables are abuse and Independent System Operator” (ISMO) the enemy.

    It is doubtful that the required changes will ever happen if they are no decision to review the whole economic system in a way that the latter service people instead of capaital.

    Regards

    PL

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