The COP26 deal is the distraction President Ramaphosa needs …
One day during my family’s well-deserved break recently, we only had electricity six hours a day – thanks to # loadsh * tting and a blown substation in the seaside town of KwaZulu-Natal where we we were there.
It was a stark reminder of the perilous state of the country the week before the local elections on November 1. It didn’t help that the beach was still closed due to a toxic spill from an unregistered chemical warehouse that was set on fire in the July riots.
If there ever was a time when the ruling party would have hoped that its bandages on our struggling economy would remain stuck, this is it.
Eskom, our most broken state enterprise, is literally unable to keep the lights on. A technician at the Kusile power plant ignored a warning light for two hours, according to State Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan. This caused the unit to trip and took away 600 MW.
He has since been fired, but I wonder which public sector union he belonged to.
The recent blackouts were caused by “sheer negligence,” Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer said last week.
Surprisingly, the ANC was able to blame the problem on someone else. Only the ANC, which has ruled the country for 27 years, could be deaf enough to think that a tired country does not know what is really going on.
“Given the inconsistency in the information and assurances received from the public service, the ANC is for all intents and purposes very concerned that these acts may be the deliberate actions of some within Eskom for political purposes. ANC spokesman Pule Mabe said, sounding frankly detached. reality.
“It is also a direct affront to the ANC’s commitment to our manifesto to ensure a safe and reliable supply of electricity to our communities.”
Well, now that we know this is “a direct affront to the ANC’s involvement in our manifesto”, I feel a lot better. Imagine it was something like an affront to a chosen one for not being able to keep the lights on? Or an affront that the deployment of executives and the reckless interference of #PresidunceZuma in state-owned companies to get rich and enrich his buddies have brought us to this point, with the country on its knees?
Undeterred by reality, Mabe continued his unlikely rhetoric: âThe ANC calls for leadership and transparency to explain to South Africans the state of the power supply and to honestly assess whether the right skills and good leadership are available to us to use in the present circumstances.
I am not joking. No wonder so many South Africans have given up voting out of desperation. How can you expect ordinary citizens to have confidence in the political system as the ruling party seeks to cover up with such blatantly false double talk?
George Orwell would be proud of how the hapless ANC tries to convince helpless voters across the country that the system is not so broken. Many polling stations reported power outages, and just 7 hours after the election closed, # loadsh * tting was back.
Just days after telling unbelieving Tsabella voters, Ekurhuleni, that “if you don’t vote for the ANC, the electricity might never be restored,” President Cyril Ramaphosa was at the COP26 global climate change conference to land R130 billion in green energy financing.
âThrough the political declaration released today to establish this partnership, partner countries will mobilize an initial amount of $ 8.5 billion over the next three to five years through a range of instruments, including grants and concessional finance, to support the implementation of our revised NDC. [Nationally Determined Contribution] through a just transition to a low-carbon economy that is resilient to climate change, âhe declared on 9 November.
Fortunately, the governments of the UK, US, France, Germany and the EU care more about the environment than ours, which has made Eskom the eighth worst polluter. on the planet – and the largest emitter of sulfur dioxide.
During his last election campaign, the residents of Tsabella greeted Ramaphosa with signs that read: âNo electricity, no vote. I’m sure the president wanted to be rhetorical when he asked them, “What other party do you trust to ensure that the power is restored here?”
This is mind-boggling stupidity. Part of the current lack of electricity is caused by the lack of interest of Minister of Minerals and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, in his work. It’s in the title: âMinister of Energyâ. Mantashe wasted three years restarting the government’s once-praised renewable energy program – due to its irrational emphasis on ‘cleaner coal’, unaffordable nuclear power, and the inexplicable favor of the controversial Turkish Karpowership, though it does not. it is not a new construction or a creation of works.
Renewable energy projects are now arguably the cheapest, and at 36 months going live, take the same amount of time Mantashe fiddled with while Eskom burns, so to speak.
Lucky for us, Mantashe wasn’t in Glasgow to conduct “research” into what energy-hungry companies want for self-generation capacity, or to annoy the adults trying to save the planet from coal. ANC. mining benefactors and other stakeholders who stand to lose a lot if we switch to renewables.
What the country urgently needs: ideological and inexplicable loyalty to polluting technology, or cheaper, cleaner energy that could sooner supplement Eskom’s creaky grid? Just ask the people of Tsabella. DM168
This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 which is available for R25 at Pick n Pay, Exclusive Books and airport bookstores. For your nearest dealer, please click here.