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‘Allow the public to generate power themselves as well’ say Solidarity
In the end, the electricity crisis will have only one solution and that is to allow the public to also generate, distribute and sell power. This is what Solidarity, in collaboration with the do-it-yourself expo, KragDag, said today in a petition letter to Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson.
The petition letter requests the Minister to urgently announce greater regulatory exemption for private power generation. Currently, the Electricity Regulation Act of 2006 provides that nobody may generate, transmit or distribute electricity, nor trade in electricity, without a licence issued by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA), except for own use and certain non-commercial purposes, or as otherwise exempted by the Minister.
The petition letter warns that despite the hard work by many Eskom employees, the electricity problem in South Africa is simply too big to be solved by Eskom and the government alone. “The electricity crisis will only be solved by many hands – by means of extensive private domestic and commercial electricity generation. However, this is precluded due to government regulations and it is within your power to relax these regulations,” the letter states.
Piet le Roux, head of the Solidarity Research Institute, emphasised that the public cannot only be dependent upon Eskom to meet their power needs. “It is unfair of the government to expect the public to sit on their hands while retrenchments are increasing, damage worth billions is suffered and the threat exists that the national power grid could collapse. In these uncertain times, the government should welcome independent power generation instead of having legislation to prevent it,” Le Roux said.
Le Roux said fears of a total failure of the power grid are not unfounded. “For instance, we have learned that the cabinet has already devised contingency plans for the protection of senior government officials in such an event,” Le Roux added.
The public are invited to support the petition ahead of the Solidariteit KragDag, a huge do-it-yourself expo to be held in Pretoria on 26 and 27 June. The relevant legislation, flaws contained in it and ways to lessen dependence on government electricity will feature high on the agenda during the expo.
For the public to participate, they are welcome to complete an online petition form, or SMS the word “POWER” to 34802 (an SMS costs R2).
Source: SA the Good News