Photo by: Creamer Media
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) notes President Ramaphosa’s announcement that government will increase the caps for embedded generation to 100MW. In an economy experiencing load shedding and increasingly unaffordable electricity for more than fifteen (15 ) years, any additional source of energy must be welcomed.
The lack of reliable and affordable energy threatens millions of jobs in mining, manufacturing, agriculture and in fact in all sectors. Electricity tariff hikes far above inflation year after year rob workers of their already diminished wages.
It is hoped that this announcement will help spur investments in additional energy generation. It is critical that government and industry work together to ensure that all materials used for these generation investments be locally made and not imported. It is essential that when recruitment takes place for these plants, that former mine workers be targeted to help ease the large numbers of workers who have lost their jobs in the mining sector.
Whilst this announcement will help bring additional energy generation capacity on grid in the medium and long terms, it will not resolve the Level 4 load shedding decimating the economy today.
COSATU had hoped to hear from the President on immediate measures to help address the current load shedding crisis that is hobbling the economy as it tries to emerge from the pandemic and recession. Eskom needs to be assisted in ramping up investments in maintenance to reduce the number of stations tripping.
Government needs to indicate how far is it with bringing on board the additional energy providers that were approved at the end of 2020.
The Federation had hoped to hear more on what is being done to tackle the billions lost to corruption and wasteful expenditure, what is being done to recover those monies, how many people have been charged and assets attached? Eskom will not be able to stand on its own feet until it stops bleeding and holds the guilty accountable.
Issued by COSATU