Subscribe to this channel

You can subscribe to new audio episodes published on this channel. You can follow updates using the channel's RSS feed, or via other audio platforms you may already be using.

RSS Feed

You can use any RSS feed reader to follow updates, even your browser. We recommend using an application dedicated to listening podcasts for the best experience. iOS users can look at Overcast or Castro. Pocket Casts is also very popular and has both iOS and Android versions. Add the above link to the application to follow this podcast channel.

Signup to iono.fm

Sign up for a free iono.fm user account to start building your playlist of podcast channels. You'll be able to build a personalised RSS feed you can follow or listen with our web player.
29
NOV
6pm

Security guards at Eskom plant arrested for diesel theft

Eskom faced its third arrest of workers this month, following the apprehension of two security guards at an East London power station, who have been charged with the theft of diesel.
Two security guards have been arrested in connection with the theft of diesel worth R145,930.07 from an Eskom plant, the power utility said in a statement on Tuesday.
The guards were employed by a security company contracted by Eskom and had guarded the Port Rex power station in East London. According to Eskom, an internal investigation supported by the Bidvest Protea Coin investigation team and the South African Police Service showed that the guards had granted entry to a vehicle that collected the stolen diesel during a night shift; an act for which the guards were paid.
Eskom said criminal charges had been laid and investigations were ongoing to identify any other suspects.
“It is appalling that the individuals entrusted with . safeguarding our infrastructure resort to such acts. These arrests are another significant step in our fight against crime in Eskom, and we shall continue in our pursuit to ensure that the perpetrators face the full might of the law,” said advocate Karen Pillay, general manager for security at Eskom.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
News of the arrest comes a couple of weeks after Eskom announced that rolling blackouts would continue as a result of the power utility running out of funds to procure diesel to keep its open cycle gas turbines running. The turbines limit the rolling blackouts South Africa faces during plant breakdowns.
By November, Eskom had already spent just more than R12-billion on diesel; an amount that was revised from an initial diesel budget of R6.1-billion, and later increased to R11.1-billion. Eskom’s diesel shortfall as a result of the blown budget will be met by PetroSA.
Read more in Daily Maverick: “Found: Fifty million litres of diesel for fifteen days of relief — but source of funding future supplies remains uncertain”
Earlier this month, an Eskom subcontractor was arrested for allegedly tampering with essential infrastructure at the Camden Power Station in Mpumalanga, News24 reported. According to National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Monica Nyuswa, quoted in TimesLIVE, the tampering cost Eskom more than R1-million. A week later, a truck driver was arrested at the same station for tampering with coal, News24 reported.
Cases of sabotage, coupled with ailing infrastructure and the consequences of years of corruption, have seen South Africans ...
29
NOV
2pm

Political parties agree — captive lion breeding must end

Parliament’s environment committee has accused the departments of environment and agriculture of dragging their feet over the ending of captive lion breeding and canned hunting.
In a special session on captive lion breeding this week, all members of Parliament’s environment committee expressed disappointment at the Department of Environment’s failure to implement its own recommendations to phase out the practice.
Members across all party lines grilled representatives of the department who, they said, came unprepared and whose answers to their questions were unacceptable.
The department’s Flora Mokgohloa said she was unaware that canned hunting was taking place as it was illegal and had no evidence that wild lions were being poached.
“Enough is enough,” said committee member IFP’s Narend Singh, “the department is not taking our or its own High Level Panel recommendations on this and it’s unacceptable.”
Dave Bryant of the DA accused the department of fobbing off the parliamentary committee and Nazier Paulsen of the EFF said that all hunting of lions should be outlawed. Singh demanded a full report on the issue from the department early next year. Committee chair Ntibi Modise agreed and suggested that committee members make unannounced visits to breeding facilities.
The discussion followed a presentation by Tony Gerrans, director of the Humane Society International-Africa, initiated by the Conservation Action Trust. He told the committee there were 336 captive facilities breeding between 10,000 and 12,000 lions in mostly poor conditions. There were only around 3,000 wild lions — a reduction of 43% over a 20-year period.
Read more in Daily Maverick: “End trophy hunting in South Africa, or we won’t visit your country, say tourists”
Warnings
Breeders had received repeated warnings from the NSPCA over breeding conditions, which included inadequate diet, hygiene, shelter, vet treatment, enrichment and slaughter. He said poor conditions increased the risk of zoonic (animal-to-human) diseases and breeding farms provided a cover for the illegal trade of animal parts and the poaching of wild lions.
Captive lions were of no value to conservation, he told parliamentarians, and breeding farms provided few and often dangerous unskilled jobs. The industry was also inflicting reputational damage on the country’s tourist industry.
Following the 1997 Cook Report, documentaries like Blood Lions and Lions, Bones and Bullets, Unfair Game and various scathing books, there was no shortage of bad publicity to deter potential visitors. The breeding industry was also undermining post-Covid economic recovery.
Demands ignored
Direct demands by the environment committee were being blatantly ignored, it appeared. These included a ...
29
NOV
11am

Mapping a future and sustainable pathways for southern Africa’s wild elephants

If Africa’s elephants had the choice, as they once had for millions of years, where would they go and why? With telemetry, scientists can answer these questions and propose new routes for conservation.
Most of the world’s savannah elephants live in southern Africa. They were once a nation of great travellers linked by well-worn paths, meeting and mixing across seven million square kilometres. Today they’re boxed into the equivalent of separate villages — national parks and private reserves — by human settlements and fences.
They have always shared land with humans, but human population growth and rapid land cover change across southern Africa over the past century have increased human-elephant conflict.
People now dominate 80% of the land elephants used to live on before colonial developments. Though their compression into defined areas has protected them up to now and provided a foundation, confinement is creating problems.
Seeking solutions, several top elephant scientists have posed a challenging question and attempted to answer it: where today would elephants prefer to go if they were not restricted and to what degree could their wishes be granted?
Satellite telemetry data
The new study by researchers from South Africa, the US, Australia and Botswana used 1.2-million satellite telemetry data points to track 261 elephants across the region, highlighting what natural features limit or support their mobility.
Their reasoning is that restricting their movement is contrary to the first principles of conservation and out of step with the Global Deal for Nature, which aims to enhance the connectivity of protected areas and improve population viability, especially of large herbivores like elephants.
Confinement to protected areas and the fragmentation of the once continuous population, they found, have adverse demographic and genetic consequences for elephants and urgent action is needed.
The study focuses on Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia where around 80% of the world’s savannah elephants live, mostly within about 900,000 km2 of protected areas.
What are the prospects of opening up corridors and improving connections between protected areas? “Elephants are not demanding,” says the study. “They need space, water, grass and trees as well as freedom from harassment. However, savanna Africa is no longer theirs.”
Because unsuitable areas for elephants surround their habitats, their movement is restricted by artificial barriers, such as roads or fences. Long-term population stability will be difficult without their dispersal.
A solution
Reconnecting nature, say the researchers, offers a solution. “In cooperation with local communities and governments, protecting the connections for ...
29
NOV
7am

SA’s burning question — what’s holding back the reform of the energy sector?

Is it the spectre of Mbeki’s removal? Does Ramaphosa fear that he will lose traction with the unions — his original base inside the party which has the machinery to campaign on a larger scale than the ANC itself?
The energy crisis in South Africa has its roots in a series of policy failures and missteps.
In the 1990s, electricity was plentiful and cheap, even though the state had initiated a vast distribution programme to extend the network to those excluded under apartheid. A low-cost, coal-fired fleet was producing surplus energy at one of the best prices in the world. The South African economy was powering up and would, in the early 2000s, enjoy growth of more than 5% for consecutive years.
At the heart of the energy network was the giant parastatal Eskom, a beacon of cheap and efficient power production, but somewhat out of tune with the global trend towards modernising production to make it more responsive to market demand.
Then South Africa created the worst of both worlds for a state-run enterprise and a private sector looking to invest. The 1998 energy white paper foresaw new investment being made by the private sector, but the government was a reluctant suitor. This pattern has been repeated many times since, leading up to the current crisis.
Its immediate cause is poor management and maintenance and equipment near the end of its lifespan. But the deeper roots lie in a paralysing combination of ideology and the nature of the political economy, specifically the ANC’s political economy and the comrades with interests in coal.
The 1998 white paper actually foresaw that the country would run out of electricity by 2007 due to increasing demand and poor maintenance, but the government failed to get the projected new private investment in energy production off the ground.
When the Department of Minerals and Energy finally invited proposals for increasing power production by 1,000MW a year from 2007, the private sector was hesitant, as it was explained that Eskom would retain market dominance and control at least 70% of generation.
As a result, when the predicted shortfall came in 2007 and 2008, Eskom introduced a new phenomenon, “load shedding”, a euphemism for dropping sections of the grid because there was insufficient power supply.
Panicked by the shortfall, the government responded by authorising Eskom to build on a scale never seen before. Two power stations — initially codenamed Alpha and Bravo and later named Medupi ...
28
NOV
4pm

The Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan — what the world did and didn’t agree to at COP27

With the first Conference of the Parties (COP) to be held on African soil in this decisive decade now firmly in the rearview mirror, Our Burning Planet unpicks the final cover decision text — or Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan — from COP27.
After delays and disagreement took negotiations well beyond the official end of the conference, COP27 (27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, ended with an agreement that can be described as a mixed bag of outcomes that have probably teed up COP28 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to be the site of yet more contestation and geostrategic to-ing and fro-ing.
In the background, the dirty fossil fuels that have for decades powered the global economy will continue to be extracted, refined, beneficiated and burnt, sending millions of tonnes of planet-heating gases into the atmosphere and taking the Earth ever closer to the thresholds that herald “dangerous climate change” and irreversible changes to the habitability of the planet.
So what does the COP27 cover decision text — or Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan — say and what were the major breakthroughs and disappointments? Our Burning Planet was there and sought some of the answers.
On backsliding amid complex, interconnected global issues related to war, energy and the coronavirus pandemic, the agreement was solid.
Ahead of COP27, there were concerns that countries would backtrack on their climate commitments as a result of energy-related difficulties caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as well as inflation and the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan says the COP: “.stresses that the increasingly complex and challenging global geopolitical situation and its impact on the energy, food and economic situations, as well as the additional challenges associated with the socioeconomic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, should not be used as a pretext for backtracking, backsliding or de-prioritizing climate action”.
While there was a strong call for the global geopolitical situation not to be used as a pretext for backtracking on climate action, the plan did not move the needle on taking more ambitious measures.
In Glasgow, parties agreed that the COP “expresses alarm and utmost concern” that “human activities have caused around 1.1°C of global warming to date and that impacts are already being felt in every region” and “stresses” the “urgency of enhancing ambition and action in relation to mitigation adaptation and finance in this critical decade ...
28
NOV
3pm

Mitchells Plain female truck driver to take the wheel of Shoprite’s first glow-in-the-dark battery electric vehicle

With a driving range of about 350km when carrying a load of 40 tonnes, the truck will be used for local deliveries and will be recharged using renewable energy generated by Shoprite’s existing solar installations.
Shoprite is the first South African retailer to pilot a heavy-duty electric truck as part of its fleet, and 28-year-old Robin Jooste from Colorado Park, Mitchells Plain, has been selected to drive it.
The vehicle, a Scania battery electric vehicle (BEV), is 100% electric, meaning it does not use fossil fuels or produce any carbon emissions. The refrigerated truck can hold about 16 pallets, has nine batteries, solar panels fitted to its roof and a fully electric cooling system which is also powered by the battery packs of the vehicle.
With a driving range of about 350km when carrying a load of 40 tonnes, the truck will be used for local deliveries and will be recharged using renewable energy generated by Shoprite’s existing solar installations.
One of the coolest features of the truck is its signature glow-in-the-dark signage intended to make it more visible at night. When exposed to bright (day) light, the signage absorbs and stores particles. This stored energy is again emitted when it’s dark, resulting in a glow.
While Shoprite did not want to reveal the cost of the BEV truck, Scania’s website says the total cost of ownership of BEVs is expected to be the same as for all types of heavy combustion engine diesel vehicles by 2031.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
“Full-scale electrification will require four to five times more infrastructure investment relative to the present situation. In return, operating expenses are 40% lower than for heavy diesel vehicles,” Scania says. The Swedish commercial vehicle manufacturer further states that electrification is happening so fast globally, it expects 10% of its sales to be electric by 2025 and to account for as much as 50% of sales by the end of this decade.
Scania has committed to cutting carbon emissions from its own operations by 50% by 2025, as well as reducing emissions from customers’ vehicles by 20% during the same period.
“As Africa’s largest grocery retailer, Shoprite places significant focus on reducing its environmental impact across its operations. One of the ways we’re doing this is by increasing the energy efficiency of our truck fleet. The acquisition of this, one of the world’s most advanced electric trucks, which we will charge using ...
27
NOV
12pm

Supercomputer peers into SA’s climate future — and paints a frightening picture

The Lengau supercomputer at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Centre for High Performance Computing in Rosebank, Cape Town, has been working on future climate models for South Africa.
In Cape Town, a modern-day oracle has peered into our future and what it saw was frightening.
The future it predicted holds killer heatwaves, storms of unprecedented power and habitat-altering droughts.
The Lengau supercomputer at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Centre for High Performance Computing in Rosebank, Cape Town, has been working on future climate models for South Africa.
What Lengau, which means cheetah in Sotho, predicted is that South Africa is likely to face four tipping point events that will cause irreversible changes to the country’s climate system.
And they could happen in the next decade or two.
The first tipping point event is a Day-Zero drought hitting Gauteng, devastating the economy of the province and causing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.
“This is where the Vaal [Dam] is not at 95%, it is at 25%. That is a true water crisis. Because when the levels fall to below 20%, then it is really difficult to get to the water,” said Francois Engelbrecht, a professor of climatology at Wits University’s Global Change Institute.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
“This affects businesses, industry and households. I would say there may be a risk of social unrest. And this is our single biggest climate change danger in South Africa.”
The second tipping point is the complete collapse of South Africa’s maize crops and its cattle industry. This will be brought on by a series of long-lasting droughts. Southern African farmers got a taste of this during the 2015/2016 drought during which Botswana lost 40% of its cattle.
Killer heatwaves are the third predicted tipping point, which could result in the deaths of tens of thousands.
The fourth tipping point is a weather phenomenon not yet seen in South Africa.
The warming of the Mozambique Channel is bringing the possibility of Category 4 or 5 tropical cyclones moving further south than usual and making landfall in Maputo or even Richards Bay.
Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans in 2005, killing 1,800 people and causing damage amounting to $125-billion, was classified as a Category 5 tropical cyclone.
Those in the path of a Category 4 or 5 cyclone will face wind speeds of more than 200km/h, torrential rainfall of up to 1,000mm in a 24-hour period and deadly storm surges.
South ...
27
NOV
9am

Dramatically different and signalling a lost opportunity — South Africa’s revised environmental policy

After the closing of the public consultative period for its Sustainable Use White Paper, the DFFE withdrew to assimilate public inputs and written submissions. Worryingly, its new document, a Revised White Paper on Conservation and Sustainable Development of South Africa’s Biodiversity, is significantly different.
History is marked by a handful of watershed moments when humanity has been given the opportunity to change their destinies. These moments come at times of crisis when our entrenched beliefs are challenged. Confined to our homes during the early days of Covid-19, was such a time. Overnight, the din of frenetic human activity ceased; roads, seas and skies emptied and an unimagined stillness reigned.
As our energy requirements plummeted, so too did the gigatons of CO2 being pumped into our atmosphere. Nature’s rhythms responded to the sudden halt of the ever-grinding industrial machine, giving many of us the impression that a turning point had been reached: that we, as humans, might learn from this experience and establish a new relationship with both ourselves and nature, a relationship far kinder to both.
Our future depends on the quality of our relationship with nature and many of us recognise that this relationship needs revisioning. In response to outrage over the burgeoning “cuddle to kill” industry, which includes the captive breeding and “canned hunting” of lions as well as an exploding lion bone trade, Government appointed a High Level Panel (HLP) in 2018 to investigate legislation and practices regarding breeding, hunting, trade and handling of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros in South Africa.
The panel’s report, released in 2020, recommended “that the Minister [of the Environment] urgently initiates a process to develop an overarching national policy (including wildlife) that provides a clear vision and objectives on South Africa’s approach to conservation and sustainable use of the country’s biodiversity. [exemplifying] a shift to an Africanised conservation approach that embraces the diverse cultures, traditions and knowledge systems in South Africa, values such as ubuntu, environmental justice and philosophies such as convivial conservation.”
In June 2022, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) released the much-heralded White Paper on Conservation and Sustainable Use of South Africa’s Biodiversity for public comment.
The White Paper’s stated intention was to be “aspirational” with a vision of a “prosperous nation living in harmony with nature”, advocating “activities that enhance the well-being of people and nature at the same time”, where “all people have a high quality of life, a ...
24
NOV
3pm

‘Let’s get stinging!’ Green Scorpions inspector urges colleagues tackling nationwide sewage pollution crisis

Many citizens have been watching the sewage pollution crisis spread across the country with a growing sense of despair. Will anyone be held to account? A spark of hope emerged recently when Green Scorpions inspector Maanda Alidzulwi set a strong example by taking a municipality to the criminal courts for consistent violations of water and environmental laws.
‘The rivers in Gauteng are a mess (because of repeated sewage spills) but the environment is not just some ‘by-the-way thing’ . Why are we so lenient on these municipalities?”
Read Part One and Part Two.
That was the question Gauteng provincial environment officer Mandla Zuma posed to fellow members of the country’s “Green Scorpions” Environmental Management Inspectorate last week.
In short, Zuma was asking whether municipal leaders were taking the sewage crisis seriously, also noting that he had never heard of the National Treasury turning a blind eye to financial misdemeanours in government departments.
“They deal with these matters. They correct and move on. So, maybe, we should set an example. We can’t keep talking about the same thing (municipal sewage pollution) all the time.”
It was clearly a question on the minds of several colleagues who met in Muldersdrift, Gauteng, last week for the biennial lekgotla (conference) of the country’s Environmental Management Inspectorate — a specialist unit set up 16 years ago to ensure compliance and enforcement of laws for green (biodiversity) brown (pollution and waste) and blue (coastal) environmental issues.
There are roughly 3,000 Environmental Management Inspectors (EMIs) spread across the country at the national, provincial and local government level.
Double standards
During a question and answer session, some inspectors and officials seemed uneasy about the apparent double standards of prosecuting private companies, while treading more softly when it comes to holding fellow state organs to account for pollution offences.
Seated near the back of the meeting hall, Mpumalanga-based Green Scorpions inspector Maanda Alidzulwi listened quietly as colleagues debated the frustrations some of them faced in enforcing environmental laws, often with limited resources.
But when he rose to speak, Alidzulwi commanded attention almost immediately.
He had done exactly as colleague Mandla Zuma suggested. He had stopped talking and taken action by “stinging” the Thaba Chweu local municipality earlier this year.
“We have a responsibility to the environment and we must not compromise,” Alidzulwi told the lekgotla, before describing the role he played in securing a historic criminal prosecution and significant fine for senior officials of a local municipality which incorporates historic and scenic ...
24
NOV
9am

Electric vehicles are the future of motorised transport, but South Africa is still stuck in a carbon past

Despite global leaps towards the EV industry, South Africa lags woefully behind. A total of 218 EVs were sold in South Africa in 2021. Although this was more than double the previous year’s volume, this accounts for less than 0.05% of all vehicle sales recorded.
As calls for more sustainable practices reverberate throughout the world as tell-tale signs of climate change become starker, at the fore of this conversation are electric vehicles (EV).
Simply put, this automotive class has an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine. Globally, approximately seven million EVs were sold just last year. Between 2011 and 2015, annual sales grew by almost 90%. The United Kingdom has even set the ambitious aim of banning the sales of new internal combustion engine vehicles by 2030.
Despite global leaps towards the EV industry, South Africa lags woefully behind. A total of 218 EVs were sold in South Africa in 2021. Although this was more than double the previous year’s volume, this accounts for less than 0.05% of all vehicle sales recorded. These figures indicate that this is not a practice we readily embrace.
The argument for EVs as the world fights carbon emissions is backed by commitments such as the Paris Agreement on climate change, concerns around increasing air pollution in urban areas and the volatility of oil prices in recent months – factors that implicitly impact South Africa.
For example, the automotive industry in South Africa is among the highest carbon (CO2) emitters globally, responsible for an estimated 20% of total emissions and considered the third highest contributor to air pollution. It is estimated that, on average, one electric car saves 1.5 million grammes of CO2 in a year.
In the last five years, fuel prices in South Africa have more than doubled. In 2017, 95 octane petrol inland cost R12.86 per litre compared to R26.74 per litre in the same period in 2022, with little indication of reprieve in the coming months. It is apparent that from an environmental and economic perspective, EVs are indeed the way of the future. Yet, South Africa’s slow uptake suggests more significant challenges.
Unlike other nations, from a policy standpoint, limited subsidies or incentives are driving the acceleration of the EV market. While the Green Transport Strategy introduced by the Department of Transport provides incentives to produce and sell EVs and set targets for the uptakes of EVs in the government vehicle fleet, little has been ...
24
NOV
6am

COP27 presidency launches ambitious adaptation agenda but implementation remains likely stumbling block

At this year’s COP27 in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt, experts see the agenda as well-meaning but have raised concerns about how it will come to fruition, flagging indigenous knowledge and communities’ inclusion, as well as absent financing support and outlines as concerns.
Extreme rainfall and temperatures, increased flooding frequency and intensity, regular forest fires and gripping droughts have been a growing reality for many around the globe with the global south being disproportionately affected by this. These extreme weather events are consequences of the climate crisis and a reality the world is faced with.
In an effort to address living with these consequences and being prepared in the form of adaptation, the COP27 presidency launched the Adaptation Agenda to help bolster climate resilience for 4 billion people around the globe by 2030.
The pledge came at the global climate conference talks COP27 which took place in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt. The agenda is launched in partnership with the High-Level Champions and the Marrakech Partnership which are focused on enhancing climate ambition and action.
Put simply, adaptation is, according to the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, the process of adjustment to existing or anticipated climate and its consequences and working towards avoiding or reducing the effects of the climate crisis. In natural systems, this comes in the form of human intervention facilitating the expected changes.
The Sharm-El-Sheik Adaptation Agenda aims to address and provide solutions to climate vulnerability that can be incorporated into local contexts and protect communities against increasing climate crisis events.
Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP27 said in a statement that the outcome targets of the agenda would be refined and expanded with contributions from state and non-state actors.
“At the core of the outcomes is the recognition that adaptation is often locally-driven and globally relevant, while simultaneously needing to address equity, diversity and justice,” said Mohieldin. “Of particular concern and focus is Africa, where the private finance share in the total financing of climate adaptation efforts is not more than 3% ($11.4-billion). Seven times that amount will be needed annually until 2030.”
Adaptation Agenda outcome targets
Systems that are targets in the agenda’s outcomes include; food security and agriculture, water and nature, human settlements, ocean and coastal, infrastructure, cross-cutting planning and finance.
Adaptation in food and agriculture can result in significant changes as practising climate-smart and resilient agriculture can increase yields by 17% and reduce emissions by 21%. As far as addressing water and nature ...
24
NOV
5am

A just transition is the only solution to South Africa’s energy crisis, says Andre de Ruyter

A panel addressing the country’s energy security crisis kicked off Daily Maverick’s flagship event, The Gathering, where the Eskom CEO clearly stated that the just transition was the only solution to South Africa’s crisis, adding that it also offers a boost to the economy and addresses environmental concerns.
‘In my mind, the opportunity is tangible; I can see no other opportunity to drive economic growth, to solve for energy security, to solve our environmental problems, to create employment, than by embarking on this just energy transition. If we don’t do this, what else? I don’t know. If we don’t do this then we would have lost an opportunity,” Eskom group CEO André de Ruyter said at the Daily Maverick’s flagship event, The Gathering, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Thursday morning.
He made the remarks during a panel discussion hosted by journalist and consultant Karen Allen and joined by Zanele Mbatha, CEO of Bambili Energy, which focuses on hydrogen and clean fuel generation, as well as Daily Maverick’s Our Burning Planet journalist Ethan van Diemen.
The panel, “Energy; Beyond Eskom”, kicked off the event, answering questions such as how to address the elongated bouts of rolling blackouts and what those solutions are, as well as delving into renewable energy sources.
“When a technology has reached the end of its life, it doesn’t make sense to continue to perpetuate it; the Stone Age didn’t end because of a lack of stones!” said De Ruyter to a laughing and clapping crowd in an auditorium filled to near capacity. “I don’t think that the fact that we have coal means that we should continue to burn coal. that’s a fallacy.”
The comments come as South Africa faces its longest bouts of rolling blackouts in a year. The situation has been worsened by Eskom’s depletion of its diesel budget, pushing load shedding to Stage 5 on Sunday. Although 50 million litres of diesel have been allocated to the power utility from PetroSA to buffer against heightened blackouts.
Read in Daily Maverick: “Found: Fifty million litres of diesel for fifteen days of relief – but source of funding future supplies remains uncertain”
At the recent global climate negotiations, the 27th Congress of the Parties (COP27), South Africa’s Just Energy Transition Investment Plan shone brightly as a competitive blueprint for how developing countries can transition from coal dependency towards cleaner energy sources such as renewables.
The plan seeks to decarbonise South Africa ...

200 episodes

« Back 1—12 More »