SA energy challenges a Catch 22 situation


South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa.

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOUTH Africa is facing a dilemma in its quest to address its energy challenges, President Cyril Ramaphosa has conceded.

On one hand, power utility, Eskom, has been granted its wish for tariff increases in order to address load shedding. On the other, the government has to shield citizens in the troubled country against the rising cost of living.

“This is the problem we face,” Ramaphosa stated in his weekly letter.

“We have to ensure that Eskom has the resources it needs to resolve the electricity crisis while protecting South Africans from the effects of higher prices,” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa added: “There is no simple answer to this problem.”

He thus appealed to all stakeholders, including government, Eskom, business, labour and communities to work together to achieve what he described as a very difficult balance.

Ramaphosa said at all times, stakeholders must be guided by the needs and interests of South Africans, especially the poor.

“We should be wary of short-term solutions that we will regret in years to come,” Ramaphosa said.

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) recently approved the 18,65 percent tariff increase by Eskom.

Ramaphosa last week called for the Eskom board to halt the increase.

South Africans are grappling with economic challenges.

Food prices have increased on average by 12 percent over the past year.

Last week, the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) led a “Power to the People” march to the headquarters of the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

John Steenhuisen, DA leader, said ANC corruption and incompetence, not Eskom or NERSA, are to blame for load shedding and high electricity prices.

“The ANC needs to understand that if it continues on its obstructionist path, it will lose power,” the opposition leader said.

General elections are set for next year.

– CAJ News


scroll to top