File picture: Karen Sandison/ANA
File picture: Karen Sandison/ANA

Load shedding: It’s time for heads to roll

By Letter Time of article published Dec 7, 2018

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Congress of the People Western Cape deplores the return of power interruption caused by Eskom’s phase 2 load shedding.

It is a severe indictment on government that it learnt nothing and forgot nothing from the shocking lessons of 2008.

Load shedding has to have consequences for everyone involved in the Gupta looting network.

On Tuesday, most of the businesses at the Canal Walk Shopping Centre in Milnerton were closed and workers were left idling and ruefully contemplating the loss of wages and tips.

Businesses that pay hefty rents and carry other huge costs were left frustrated.

Everyone was a loser for the duration of the load shedding.

It is sad that Cosatu and the National Union of Mineworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and Transform RSA can’t see the bigger picture.

Cosatu has been short-sightedly opposing the IPP (independent power producers) contracts and has been demanding that these should be suspended immediately. It has also been demanding the government stop liberalising the energy market.

Numsa and Transform RSA, on the other hand, went to the North Gauteng High Court to block the partnerships but, thankfully, they failed in their effort.

Cope believes we need to liberalise the energy sector and create a much bigger role for renewables in the energy mix, as much as 80% in fact, to stave off the disastrous impact of climate change which is advancing faster than we imagined, and also to attract investments to stimulate the South African economy through our ability to guarantee energy security.

Furthermore, it is reprehensible that the national government has been blunting a Section 34 determination to allow Cape Town to procure 150MW of solar energy and 280MW of wind energy from IPPs as a measure of protection against energy insecurity and Eskom’s load shedding.

This obstruction has been going on since 2016.

If the green light had been given for these, the city would have been able to support businesses and industries at this juncture when they are being adversely affected by load shedding.

This situation is untenable. It is time heads roll. Otherwise, we are never going to get out of the energy trap we are in.

Farouk Cassim 


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