NATIONAL NEWS - Simple, practical solutions could help bring an end to load shedding and set Eskom on the path to successfully meeting its objective of effectively delivering electricity.
This is the thrust of the #PowerToThePeople campaign launched by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) aimed at building public pressure on Minister of Energy Gwede Mantashe to consider a range of measures that have the potential to end load shedding.
Eskom has been experiencing generating capacity issues for the last few years, and, according to the power utility’s CEO Andre De Ruyter, they are not likely to be resolved any time soon.
This much is shown in an Eskom table tweeted last week by energy expert Chris Yelland. It is due to this recurring issue of deficient generating capacity that the IRR has decided to launch the #PowerToThePeople campaign.
Demands in the IRR’s petition include:
• Keeping Eskom as a state-owned generator, while allowing any company to compete against it for the generation and sale of electricity – provided this competition is strictly on a commercial basis and is not skewed by subsidies
• Depoliticising Eskom; the generator should resume its old function of providing sufficient, reliable electricity while covering its costs. Nothing else.
• Forbidding Eskom from pursuing political, social, or racial ambitions. It must appoint its engineers and other technical staff entirely on merit.
These are among proposals the IRR believes are both practical and cost-effective and would do much to end load shedding.
South Africans cannot lead constructive lives, contributing to the economy, if the country’s engine has no fuel in it. That fuel is power, without which we may well end up not having a vehicle at all.
Said IRR Head of Strategic Initiatives Hermann Pretorius: “The great frustration with the seemingly endless episodes of rolling blackouts is the simplicity and practicality of solutions that could put an end to this destructive nonsense once and for all. This is why our campaign presents a simple set of solutions that could have almost immediate and dramatic effects. South Africans really need to demand better from government – in this regard, the IRR will not hesitate to play a leading role.”
The IRR invites South Africans to add their voice to this campaign and help bring an end to load shedding by clicking here.
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