The Times reports that in the midst of the worse electricity crisis this country has ever experienced, Eskom can’t buy electricity generated by the private sector “due to the absence of a policy framework”.
Now, I assume that by a “policy framework”, we are implying that the laws that give Eskom a monopoly in power generation are so complicated (having been first drafted by those evil apartheid fellows), that it is virtually impossible to legally unscramble the egg, and open the door to private sector participation.
Mbeki has quite gallantly accepted responsibility for this cock-up on behalf of his government, but we still discover that private sector projects are reported to be “mired in red tape and the government’s policy of protecting Eskom from competition.” Does this surprise me?
What is probably happening, is that amended legislation is being purposefully delayed while the “usual suspects” squeeze their fat arses into private sector power generation companies. This simple amendment to legally allow Eskom to buy electricity from the private sector could read as follows’
“While the reserve capacity is less than ____ %, Eskom is allowed (and obliged) to buy electricity from the private sector at a price of the wholesale rate less ___ %.”
There’s your legal framework, now get on with it, you idiots.
But can you just imagine the teams of legal “consultants” employed at R3000/hr who are mulling over this amendment (or having lunch)? Picture the committees, the paperwork, the debates, all to make this simple change.
And then the big “B” word. BEE is certainly not going to be left out. This is another feeding trough, so of course the right colour snouts have got to be firmly lodged in there.
I know very little about electricity, but surely 240V AC is 240V AC? Do you get bad electricity and good electricity? Do I need a SABS certificate to say that the excess electricity generated by my solar panels and wind turbine is the right quality?
This is a national emergency. Amend the law, get it to Parliament and pass it. The longer it takes to get a “policy framework” in place, the longer this mess is going to continue.
And this is just electricity !!
I need a drink.