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Unions speaks out against electricity tariff increases, loadshedding and other socio-economic issues

Neelam Rahim | neelam@radioislam.co.za

3-minute read
22 March 2024 | 14:41 CAT

File picture: Nadine Hutton, Bloomberg

The General Industries Workers Union of South Africa (GIWUSA) rejects any further electricity tariff increases, loadshedding, pro-corporate, fossil-fuel-based energy generation, and the so-called ‘Integrated Resource Plan’.

Earlier this year, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy published its Integrated Resources Plan (IRP 2023), which was drafted for public comment and lays out the government’s future energy plans.

The IRP is a comprehensive document that outlines assumptions about electricity demand and supply, economic conditions, and the costs of generating enough electricity to meet the country’s needs. It is meant to be a roadmap for South Africa’s energy future.

However, according to GIWUSA, the IRP must catch up in many ways.

GIWUSA President Mametlwe Sebei says the union demands a free, adequate, basic supply of reliable, clean energy for all.

The IRP needs more detail on how the rolling blackouts and loadshedding in South Africa will be addressed promptly.

According to its own conclusions, the plan would condemn South Africa to at least four more years of loadshedding.

Meanwhile, the South African Independent Power Producer Association (SAIPPA) has joined the growing chorus of opposition to the draft of the Integrated Resource Plan 2023, which has a comment deadline of March 23.

In its formal comment on the draft, SAIPPA argues that the document is seriously flawed and inadequate to meet South Africa’s energy challenges.

In its submission, SAIPPA also argues that the government, in drafting the IRP, should also take account of the envisaged liberalisation of the market, which will result in a gradual transition towards competition, especially in generation.

“The need for a formal IRP determination and bid rounds will gradually diminish as the market takes on the challenge over time.

“It is thus that government doesn’t embark on generation plans that cause some stranded investment that will burden the affordability of supplies to the South African population,” SAIPPA stated.

Listen to the full interview on Radio Islam International with Muallimah Annisa Essack and GIWUSA President Mametlwe Sebei.

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