ABC Party proposes gas alternative

Abantu Batho Congress founder Philani Mavundla has been nominated as KZN Premier candidate by his party. Picture: Willem Phungula

Abantu Batho Congress founder Philani Mavundla has been nominated as KZN Premier candidate by his party. Picture: Willem Phungula

Published Mar 15, 2024


Durban — The Abantu Batho Congress (ABC) political party has proposed gas as an alternative energy in South Africa as the country continues to battle load shedding.

This was one of the priorities unveiled by party founder Philani Mavundla on Thursday after being appointed its KwaZulu-Natal premier candidate. He is the mayor of Umvoti Local Municipality.

Delivering what appeared to be a party manifesto, Mavundla said that if his party takes power in the province and he becomes the premier, his main priorities would be the energy and textile sectors which he said would drive the provincial economy and create jobs.

He said the party’s mandate focuses on harnessing the potential of two emerging economic sectors that can generate sustainable employment opportunities which he said were in gas energy.

He added that there was a need for transitioning towards gas energy as an alternative to coal-produced electricity which presents a promising avenue for job creation. This shift, he said, would not only address environmental concerns but also open up new roles across the energy sector, from production to distribution.

“The ABC-led province is committed to launching a groundbreaking gas energy initiative that aims to create 1 million sustainable jobs within a 5-year period, should the people of KwaZulu-Natal entrusts us with governance. Our approach involves investing in activities and policies that yield tangible economic benefits, prioritising programmes that directly contribute to job creation and economic growth,” said Mavundla.

To operationalise this vision, he said, his party was proposing, among other things, the establishment of gas stations in every second ward in the townships that would provide accessible and convenient energy solutions to residents.

He said gas installations will be made available to township households seeking to transition from electricity to gas for water heating, cooking and refrigeration, thereby creating a demand for gas-powered appliances.

The party added that the gas project would generate employment opportunities across various sectors, including:

  • Construction of gas cylinder manufacturing plants.
  • Establishment of appliance manufacturing plants.
  • Development of ward-based gas refill centres.
  • Call centre operations.
  • Delivering and connecting gas through trained municipal teams.
  • Incorporating appliance costs into monthly gas bills.
  • Implementing digitised monitoring for efficient gas replenishment.
  • Ensuring customer service calls are free of charge as well as offering postpaid or prepaid billing.

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