Set within the context of political chaos – three ministers of energy this year alone – and the volatile political climate, Eskom’s woeful financial management and obfuscatory renewable energy policies, future direction is about as predictable as a leaf in a windstorm. Given the ongoing speculation over Zuma’s behaviour aligning with an already-promised economically suicidal trillion-rand nuclear deal with Russia, one Yelland line catches my attention. It is this; “political interference will artificially constrain renewable energy to force nuclear power into the energy mix.” The knock-on effects of such interference, for reasons we all know have nothing to do with improving power-grid efficiency, are starkly outlined by Yelland. Adding these costs onto the existing Eskom bail-out by the government without fundamentally changing the dysfunctional management structure and the way it does business will effectively nuke the country’s economy. – Chris Bateman
By Chris Yelland*
South Africa’s energy sector is at the crossroads in an uncertain and incoherent policy environment caused by the self-induced chaos of the Zuma administration, with three ministers of energy in 2017 alone, and further political change likely after the ANC’s elective conference in mid-December 2017.