Will this be the year the South African government prioritises clean, renewable energy over dirty coal to keep the country running?
If you are on Twitter, you might have seen the persistent back-and-forth on whether NERSA (National Energy Regulator of South Africa) should approve Eskom’s request to increase the electricity price by 32%. Unfortunately, NERSA did approve, but by 18% for the next two years, which is still a significant increase.
Greenpeace Africa Climate and Energy Campaigner Nhlanhla Sibisi said: “A just transition to renewable energy is the best and most immediate solution to South Africa’s energy crisis. It is cheap, quick to bring online, can help solve the youth unemployment crisis, has none of the toxic health impacts of dirty coal, and won’t force South Africans to pay for Eskom’s history of corruption and mismanagement.”
You would think it makes sense for load shedding to come with winter because our heaters are on, and geysers are warming our water more than usual. South Africa is seeing temperatures reaching 32 degrees this month, and still people in the country are going without electricity for over 10 hours a day. Energy experts are warning the country to anticipate load shedding to increase to stage 8.
We’ve all been deeply affected by load shedding, one way or another, especially financially. Think about it – between the cellphone towers shutting down during long stretches of load shedding, food going to waste, being forced to run to your local coffee shop to work, to finding alternative and expensive power solutions for your home or business to keep running.
Will you sign the petition to help us pressure the government to shift their reliance on coal to renewable energy and end load shedding?
In 2015, President Ramaphosa pleaded with us to be patient because “we are already building power stations, and one of them has already gone live, and in another 18 months to two years, you will forget the challenges we had in relation to power or energy and Eskom ever existed.”
And yet, here we are, with a staggering 753% electricity cost increase over the past ten years. We need an ambitious plan to prioritise the lives of our people instead of paying for the consequences of corrupt decisions and bad leadership. Support our energy campaign, and let’s push for a just transition to renewable energy. Together, we can do so much.
Lerato Tsotetsi is Supporter Engagement Manager, Greenpeace Africa!
Mzukona Mantshontsho is the founder of Nyakaza Media Solutions. Nyakaza Media Solutions is an organisation that was established to help community organisations, business entities, and schools to research, write, document, report, analyse, edit, publish newsletters or bulletins in hard-copy, on-line and maintain websites with the relevant content as per the editorial policy of that organisation, school or entity.
Nyakaza Media Solutions has a vision to promote and bring dialogue to communities, businesses and schools about issues that affect them.
Nyakaza Media Solutions is on a mission to develop and encourage communities, businesses and learners to celebrate the good, applaud excellence, welcome growth, strive to be better individuals, businesses and communities, want more knowledge, discourage bad and counter-productive behaviour as well as communities, businesses and learners that want to be great SOUTH AFRICANS.
Nyakaza Media Solutions is making use of Yo School Magazine as a platform that learners in all schools to make use of to write their stories.