On Friday, South Africa’s recently sworn in President, Cyril Ramaphosa, delivered his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), where he stressed that decisive intervention to revitalise state-owned enterprises was a key priority.

“The recent action we have at Eskom to strengthen governance, root out corruption and restore its financial position is just the beginning,” Ramaphosa noted.

He added that government will take the necessary measures to ensure that all state-owned companies fulfil their economic and developmental mandates.

Energy policy – uncertainty

Responding to the SONA, Greenpeace Africa’s political advisor, Happy Khambule, highlighted that uncertainty in the energy policy is at a high, as the President neglected to include information pertaining to the proposed nuclear build and the updated Integrated Resource Plan.

Khambule said: “While President Ramaphosa made a compelling attempt to start a new chapter in tonight’s [Friday 16 February] SONA address, by failing to declare that nuclear will not go ahead, or provide direction on the country’s energy pathway through the finalisation of the Integrated Resource Plan, he has created more uncertainty in energy policy.

“If the President is serious about job creation, he would ensure that the barriers to renewable energy are removed immediately instead of declaring that the mining industry – which is in terminal decline – is a ‘sunrise industry’.”

Touching on the financial models for state-owned companies, Ramaphosa has made it clear that there is no time to waste and the funding models for state-owned enterprises must be reviewed.

Khambule continued: “The electricity sector is indeed in dire need of certainty and accountability. South Africans deserve clarity on what will be done to ensure that rational, climate-friendly, and low-cost energy decisions are taken.

“It is only the Integrated Resource Plan that can provide that much-needed certainty.

“Greenpeace calls for consistency, and for the President to ensure that a new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) – which takes climate change and the country’s strained water resources into account – is released as soon as possible.” Read more…


Featured image: IOL

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