One the one hand, minister of energy, Ms. Tina Joemat-Pettersson, with promises and great plans, paints a picture of the country’s future energy security.
On the other hand the reality is that she doesn’t even complete overdue projects and her instant solution for the country’s energy problems is apparently to support Eskom in a tariff hike, Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on energy says.
Joemat-Pettersson, during her department’s budget debate today in parliament called on the national energy regulator (Nersa) to complete the process of tariff increases which Eskom had asked for, to offer Eskom the opportunity to get its financial issues in order.
Adv. Alberts says this request of the ministry is totally out of order as the minister now wants to push the responsibility of rescuing the country from its energy crisis onto the consumer.
“The FF Plus just yesterday held a protest at Eskom’s head office against the proposed tariff hikes as the public cannot be held responsible every time for the ANC government’s failures. The increase is totally out of order.
“The minister mentioned many other grandiose plans to rescue the country from the energy crisis, such as the nuclear power program worth trillions of rand, for which the country does not have any money. In the mean time she isn’t even sufficiently competent to execute simple plans and projects.
“Earlier this year she was absent without an excuse from an important parliamentary portfolio committee meeting where she had to deliver a presentation of the government’s five-point energy plan to parliamentarians. Her deputy, Thembi Majola wasn’t present either.
“At the end of March she missed the deadline for the second time (31 March 2015) to start with the program to include independent power producers in the electricity supply networks. According to her, it will now be done a year later.
“This is rubbish. This program to add additional power to the network should have been completed a long time ago. The state’s five-point plan to involve independent producers of renewable and coal-fired power is of critical importance. The implementation of this is also being dragged out.
Instead of the minister doing the work that is urgently required, she is wasting time with plans, many of which are unfeasible. In the meantime the power crisis is turning the country’s lights more faintly,” Adv. Alberts says.
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