In a debate, requested by the EFF, on the so-called just energy transition, the FF Plus pointed out the political consequences of the collapse of government's ability to generate electricity.
It has created an opportunity for communities to liberate themselves of the centralist state.
Fossil fuels did indeed enable South Africa to develop into an industrialised state. Moreover, exploiting coal, which is the only fossil fuel found in abundance in the country, for its variety of uses is one of the biggest achievements in the country's history.
But at the beginning of the twentieth century, it became clear that the rising carbon levels in the atmosphere correlate directly with climate change.
As a result, fossil fuels and coal in particular fell out of favour.
In an unrelated turn of events, the South African government decided at roughly the same time not to invest in additional power generation facilities. Shortly after, the outdated facilities were captured and maintenance basically came to a standstill.
An ensuing economic disaster spanning decades can be summed up as follows: Just when the world demanded that South Africa must abandon coal, the ANC's poor governance caused the country to lose its ability to use it.
Fortunately, this coincided with another important turn of events: Ways to exploit renewable energy sources became affordable. The country's geographical location, abundance of sunshine, wind and a vast east-to-west spread combined with a strong power grid are all ideal for using these sources.
The energy mix will still contain coal for the foreseeable future, but less so.
Furthermore, small modular nuclear generation units can contribute to the base load. The actual energy mix of the future will not be determined by government's plans, but by whatever can be implemented fast enough, and is affordable and reliable enough.
In contrast to a century ago, government will no longer play the central role in power supply. These days, the private sector is viable and knowledge, with access to finance. Households, businesses and even communities will increasingly make their own plans, with the capital market’s support.
After all, an economy is not the sum of money spent by government, but the sum of energy exercised. Add more money to the economy and you get inflation. Add energy and you get growth.
This restricts the ANC's ability to maintain a centralised state. Political power will vest in communities who look after themselves in terms of energy.
Let everyone who generates electricity for their own consumption realise: Generating power is a source of power.