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Multi-Party Charter presents plan to end load-shedding

Sisanda Mbolekwa Politics reporter
From left, Modiri Desmond Sehume of the United Christian Democratic Party, Prince Nkwana of the Unemployed National Party, John Steenhuisen of the DA, Prof Jannie Rossouw, Velenkosini Hlabisa of the IFP, Dr Zukile Luyenge of the Independent South African National Civic Organisation, Herman Mashaba of ActionSA, Winston Coetzee of the Spectrum National Party, Neil de Beer of the United Independent Movement, and Mahlubi Madela of the Ekhethu People's Party at the Multi-Party Charter press conference in Durban on January 24 2024.
From left, Modiri Desmond Sehume of the United Christian Democratic Party, Prince Nkwana of the Unemployed National Party, John Steenhuisen of the DA, Prof Jannie Rossouw, Velenkosini Hlabisa of the IFP, Dr Zukile Luyenge of the Independent South African National Civic Organisation, Herman Mashaba of ActionSA, Winston Coetzee of the Spectrum National Party, Neil de Beer of the United Independent Movement, and Mahlubi Madela of the Ekhethu People's Party at the Multi-Party Charter press conference in Durban on January 24 2024.
Image: Gallo Images/Darren Stewart)

The Multi-Party Charter (MPC) believes ending Eskom's monopoly and increasing private power generation is the answer to end load-shedding.

The 11 parties in the MPC on Wednesday unveiled a plan to create a competitive and open energy market that will make Eskom's years of underperformance and load-shedding a thing of the past.

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba presented the plan on behalf of the MPC, saying there is an urgent need for the electorate to remove a failed government and hand the reins to a leadership with the skills, political will, and integrity to end rolling blackouts and increase sustainable energy development.

“The [proposed] reforms announced by the charter today [Wednesday] will secure South Africa’s energy future while increasing clean, renewable energy use.”

The MPC said first-time voters in 2024 have never known life without load-shedding, with the economy losing hundreds of billions of rand.

Countless small businesses were shutting their doors because of the ineptitude, corruption and mismanagement of Eskom by national government, which has destroyed South Africa’s energy security.

The MPC has adopted a three-pronged approach: reforming Eskom, establishing an open energy market and ensuring a just transition to a renewable energy future.

These include:

  • expediting the unbundling of Eskom to produce a separate transmission company which will be a stand-alone grid and market operator;
  • abolishing the ministry of electricity and housing its functions in existing ministries;
  • ensuring appointments at Eskom and other energy sector leadership roles are based on merit, eliminating political interference in the board and management of Eskom, ending cadre deployment and eradicating corruption in the energy sector;
  • investing heavily in maintaining and upgrading grid infrastructure;
  • creating a conducive regulatory environment for the construction of micro-grids;
  • establishing a competitive electricity supply market where multiple electricity producers can compete on an open platform;
  • facilitating and encouraging the wheeling of power between distribution generators and customers through transmission and distribution grids by approving standard wheeling tariffs;
  • aggressively promoting demand-side management to reduce electricity demand;
  • incentivising the rapid rollout of rooftop PV through feed-in-tariffs, tax rebates on installation and the zero-rating of PV panels and components; and
  • collaborating with domestic and international partners to achieve a rapid and just energy transition from coal to cleaner and more diversified sustainable energy sources.

The parties are committed to retraining and reskilling people in the coal sector to ensure the socioeconomic impact of the energy transition is justly managed.

“Care will be taken to ensure this transition does not result in job losses or place the nation’s energy security at risk. We have consulted a broad range of experts and are capitalising on the governance experience within the charter.”

TimesLIVE


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