14 June 2018

South Africa: Rethinking Electricity Is Key to the Quest for Socio-Economic Transformation


When speaking of transforming the nature and structure of the South African economy we need to ask: How do we invest in an energy sector that underpins an inclusive economy where a multitude of producers and players are able to take part?

The conversation about electricity in South Africa has in most part been shaped by the events of the last decade. The most impactful of these events include an eight-year period of load shedding (2007- 2015) and the deterioration of the ethical and financial standing of the state utility. Thus, the performance of the electricity sector has been largely measured by Eskom's ability to keep our lights on while also managing to keep financially stable. The current state of excess electricity supply along with positive signs of a turn-around strategy at Eskom have been met with understandably great enthusiasm among business, civil society and the general public.

While this new state of affairs should indeed be celebrated, it would...

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