Electricity crisis ignored

Greenpeace 2President Jacob Zuma ignored the country’s electricity crisis in his state-of-the-nation speech on Thursday, said the environmental organisation Greenpeace.

“Greenpeace believes that if the government were serious about creating a sustainable future based on job creation and energy security, much more ambitious investments in labour-intensive renewable energy would be made,” it said in a statement.

Greenpeace said SA faced sharply increasing electricity prices and an impending water crisis because of its coal expansion plans.

“Government’s estimated R47bn worth of investment in renewable energy projects is a step in the right direction,” it said.

However, while this sounded substantial, it was minuscule when compared to the well over R200bn being spent on the new coal-fired power stations Medupi and Kusile, or the estimated R1 trillion a planned nuclear programme would cost.

“The reality is that investments in coal and nuclear take this country two steps backwards, preventing the growth of the renewable energy sector,” Greenpeace said.

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