The Dark Age in South Africa Caused Load Shedding.
South Africans are convinced that there is no plan in place to fix the current crisis at Eskom. This comes after looming uncertainties on the energy plan used by the South African government to ensure a stable power supply in the country.
On a daily basis, small businesses are closing shop because of rolling blackouts and unfortunately, this will lead to severe unemployment – families dependent on their employed loved ones will be gripped by fear of not knowing where their next meal will come from.
Early this year, addressing members of the ANC at the party’s Lekgotla, H.E. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s said load shedding will be South Africans’ daily experience.
As it stands load shedding is crippling our economy, and contributing to the escalation of crime and as a domino effect, lessening investment opportunities in the country. This is no good news considering that the unemployment rate is at a staggering 34.20 percent and projected to be 35.00 in 2024, according to econometric models.
In addition to this, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has granted Eskom tariff increases of 18.65% and 12.74% over the next two years – threatening South Africa’s food security ecosystem and leading to marginalized, unemployed South Africans to drown further in poverty.
This calls for the energy crisis to be redressed, and an immediate energy solution package
Being introduced in the following manner:
- South African government needs to focus on an impactful Just Transition and abandoning coal as an energy resource is not an answer – as this will lead the country to a catastrophic failure of being without sustainable energy supply.
- Alternative energy solutions need to be brought forward, such as mitigating the effects of Eskom’s crisis by ensuring that wind farms are established in all provinces and each wind farm needs to be autonomously connected to the electric grid – this will assist with a renewable energy production capacity.
- All means of alternative energy production have to be introduced, to lower the burden of South Africans being exposed to staggering unemployment rates, businesses closing and communities burdened by crime being alleviated.
Once the South African government can fix this crisis, other focus areas must be looked at.
Most certainly at the top of the agenda needs to be how the private sector can play a critical role in ensuring that Eskom becomes a stable power grid. Independent Power Producers need to be brought to the table to address the energy crisis – which cripples the economy – further leading to instability.
Our country has to consider all solutions which need to be brought to the table, and most certainly this opens up an opportunity for public participation – for solidarity with fixing our country’s energy crisis. This most certainly will open an opportunity for young people. Our network has a role to do the country duty everyone else shies away from by actively raising awareness on load-shedding and how the power crisis cripples the economy.
Activate Change Driver’s nearly 5000 youth network, carries the potential to challenge the South African government’s negligence in the power crisis, if the South African government purposely handled the energy crisis with greater urgency to resolve instead of shifting blame, led well, load shedding would have been an Issue of the past.
We as a network are capable of also highlighting how load shedding is affecting us as a nation. As a young person living in a crime-ridden community – load-shedding every night results in daily anxiety and concern about my safety, and my family’s safety, to such an extent this contributes to a debilitating factor on the mental health of South Africans, social anxiety and unrest is a constant feature of our lives because of the implications of load shedding.
As a network we can also raise awareness on this matter through hackathons, which can also be virtually held, raising awareness on social media platforms, this includes Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – for our voices to be amplified it’s our civic duty.
About the Author:
Lebogang Victor Ditsebe, is a social journalist and activist. Proudly a 2018 activator from Kimberley Northern Cape, passionate about climate change, and an optimist whose dreams are rooted in working towards a better South Africa for all.