Please find an attached soundbite by Kevin Mileham MP
While the DA fully supports the call for the frequent revision and update of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), we will not support any expansion of South Africa’s nuclear and coal ambitions.
Minister Gwede Mantashe’s desire to update the IRP to increase the country’s focus on gas generation and speeding up the nuclear build programme, highlights how out of touch he truly is. Mantashe’s infatuation with nuclear energy in particular, at a time when our economy can least afford it, continues to be a thorn in the side of our economy and the electricity generation industry.
Renewable energy sources should be the main source of supply for South Africa’s energy future in the short term. Fossil fuels and nuclear are not only a thing of the past, but are also unsustainable and unaffordable.
South Africa’s priority must be on increasing renewable generation, building storage and transmission capacity, and opening the grid to all power producers, and should include the following:
- Revising the Electricity Regulation Act, to make it easier for Independent Power Producers to enter into the market;
- Making it easier for municipalities to generate their own electricity rather than relying solely on Eskom;
- Incentivising energy efficiency; and
- Offering tax rebates for individuals and businesses that seek to break their dependence on Eskom.
In the Western Cape, the DA has taken the lead in fostering municipal independence from Eskom, by introducing the Municipal Energy Resilience Project. It is programmes like this that need to be rolled out across South Africa, in order to ensure a sustainable future in which the lights remain on and our economy can thrive.
Now more than ever, we need a steady and diverse energy mix, for South Africa’s economy to function fully. Government’s priority should be on integrating Independent Power Producers and renewable energy onto the grid, as well as scaling investments in storage and transmission to eliminate loadshedding.