Energy is one of the very visible issues in SA.
The subject is vast and we won’t pretend to have all the answers but we will listen to the experts as we develop policy. Areas we believe need greater focus are reflected below:
The Direct Democracy Forum will:
- As a matter of principle change the role of ESKOM from one of sole producer to one of facilitator or alternatively hand grid management to separate entities, public or private. One thing we are sure of is that the monopoly that is Eskom must be broken up. We are not even sure Eskom should remain in the supply chain but we’re open to suggestions.
- The DDF are not the only one’s who think this way. See Dirk de Vos’ opinion, writing in ‘Break up Eskom, for all our sakes‘. He’s not wrong.
- Reduce SA’s dependency on Coal Generated Energy and thus reduce the impact of energy generation on the environment and on the depletion of scarce resources.
- Open the market to multiple suppliers, this includes privatizing existing producers probably through public flotations.
- Decentralize energy production.
- Address development of alternative energy sources, including but not limited to:
- Turning SA into a vast array of solar energy collectors for use by households and for the sale of surplus electricity into the national grid.
- Install hybrid solar water heaters in every household in the land.
- Combine the above with weatherproofing old and new commercial and domestic buildings so as to make them energy efficient and in particular make every household as near to energy self-sufficient as possible.
- Escalate the development of Pebble-bed modular nuclear reactors.
- wind energy
- tidal energy
- geothermal technologies.
- Rationalize the distribution and billing of electricity by:
- Insuring that energy supplied by monopolies is profit controlled.
- Prohibiting the billing of electricity based on estimates.
- Prohibiting the application of wide ranges of tariffs so as to make usage and billing information simple, clear and concise.
- Prohibiting discriminatory application of tariffs between different classes of households.
- Prohibiting the cross subsidization of charges by loading electricity tariffs to pay for other services (ie ensuring the user only pays for what he uses).
- Prohibit the application of current electricity revenue to capital projects for the expansion of electricity production and supply (capital needs should be satisfied by going to the capital markets).
We believe the above actions will do much to address supply-side deficits and rationalize the burden of electricity costs across the economy and in particular, ease both demand and power costs for domestic users.