Category archives for: Energy

South Africa: Eskom – DA Requests Ramatlhodi’s Damning Allegations Be Added to Parliamentary Inquiry

press releaseBy Natasha Mazzone MP

The damning allegations by the former Minister of Mineral Resources, Ngoako Ramatlhodi, that Eskom’s then CEO Brian Molefe and Chairperson Ben Ngubane tried to force him to withdraw Glencore’s Optimum mining licences in a bid to help the Gupta’s takeover Glencore’s coal mines, are astounding and deserve a full scale investigation as part of the Parliamentary inquiry into Eskom which the DA has requested.

The DA has already written to Parliament’s Chair of Chairs, Cederic Frolick, to ask that Parliament’s Public Enterprises committee launch a full-scale parliamentary inquiry into Eskom, without delay.

I have this morning written to Mr Frolick to urge that these most recent “Ramatlhodi allegations” also be investigated in the course of the inquiry and that Mr Frolick urgently provides a timeline for the inquiry.

We demand that this matter receives the utmost urgency and is taken with full seriousness by Parliament, and this requires a full-scale Parliamentary inquiry into Eskom, including the new “Ramatlhodi allegations,” as soon as possible.

With each passing day, there are more and more allegations that Eskom, under Brian Molefe, has been looted for the benefit of one family, who are apparently at the heart of a project, headed by President Jacob Zuma, to capture our country for their own self-enrichment. This is also revealed in the state capture report.

That Brian Molefe was allegedly prepared to put the jobs and livelihoods of approximately 35 000 Glencore employees at risk, to help the Gupta’s essentially hi-jack Glencore’s mines, is simply appalling.

This must not be allowed to stand. Parliament must investigate and must expose the rot within Eskom, calculated to benefit the Gupta’s at public expense.

The fact that the Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, has seen fit to reappoint the man at the centre of so many damning allegations, including the Public Protector’s ‘State of Capture’ report, as the head of Eskom has been widely rejected by South Africa and now Parliament must hear the voices of these outraged South Africans.

Our court action, filed yesterday against Mr Molefe, is the first step to prevent him doing further harm to Eskom, and further entrenching the Gupta’s foothold, but Parliament must also exercise its oversight mandate to its fullest extent.

The South African public deserve to know exactly what is going on at Eskom and that there will be consequences for those found to be putting their own narrow interests above those of our country.

A full-scale Parliamentary inquiry will allow for all of Eskom’s dirty dealings to be exposed, and therefore such an inquiry must go ahead urgently.

Natasha Mazzone MP

DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises

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South Africa: ANC Leaders Toss Reinstated Energy Chief Issue Back to Govt

The ANC’s top leadership has referred the issue of Brian Molefe’s return to Eskom to government to resolve.

The party has confirmed that its top six met with Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown to discuss the matter that had heightened tensions within the party.

African National Congress spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the party’s leadership had “registered its discomfort” over Molefe’s return.

“We can confirm the meeting took place yesterday [Monday] between the Minister of Public Enterprise with the ANC national officials, following the reappointment of Mr Brian Molefe,” Kodwa said.

It is understood that some of the top six wanted Brown to reverse the decision, but Kodwa would only say that they had resolved that government must “deal” with it.

“The ANC registered its discomfort with this decision and the matter has been referred to government to deal with,” Kodwa told News24.

Defiance

Brown was summoned to Luthuli House on Monday after she announced that she had approved the board’s decision for Molefe to return to the power utility as CEO.

This move has been seen as a defiance of the ANC.

Brown had earlier reversed the board’s decision to give Molefe a R30m pay-out.

Molefe had resigned from Eskom after he was implicated in former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report that investigated the “undue influence” of the Gupta family on executive decisions and in state-owned enterprises.

The ANC labelled the move “reckless and unfortunate”, hours before Brown confirmed that she had approved Molefe’s return.

“The decision therefore, to reinstate him in his former position, without these matters being resolved, is tone deaf to the South African public’s absolute exasperation and anger at what seems to be government’s lacklustre and lackadaisical approach to dealing decisively with corruption – perceived or real,” the ANC said in a statement on Friday.

“The report, while still under review, made observations against Mr Molefe which, at the time, he had deemed serious and significant enough to warrant his resignation. Amongst others, he cited the interests of the company, good corporate governance and the interest of the public, as underlying his departure from the utility,” the party said.

‘Angered by actions of our deployees’

Molefe returns to Eskom following a short stint as a Member of Parliament.

At the time of his controversial move to Parliament, condemned by alliance partners SACP and Cosatu, there was speculation that President Jacob Zuma wanted to appoint him as finance minister.

However, during his April late night reshuffle, he appointed Malusi Gigaba instead, after the SACP and some in the top six voiced their disapproval of Molefe.

Last week, party policy expert Joel Netshitendzhe told delegates at ANC Northern Cape elective conference that the return of Molefe signalled that the party had lost control of its deployees.

“We are angered by actions of our deployees which demonstrate the vanguard has lost its DNA, its capacity to lead, let alone society, even to lead its own deployees,” Netshitenzhe said to loud applause.

Source: News24

South Africa: Energy Security a Game Changer for Western Cape

Pretoria — As African Utility Week gets underway in Cape Town, the Western Cape government will exhibit at the conference in efforts to grow the green economy.

On Tuesday, Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde said GreenCape, which was established by the Western Cape provincial government to grow the green economy, will exhibit at the three-day conference, which kicked off today.

“This year’s African Utility Week comes at an exciting time for the Western Cape’s green economy. In the year ahead, we anticipate the designation of the proposed Atlantis Special Economic Zone (SEZ), which will be used for infrastructure development, skills development for residents and the promotion of the SEZ to potential investors. The SEZ will promote the location of green technology companies in the Cape,” said MEC Winde.

Around 7 000 delegates are attending 17th annual conference.

MEC Winde said the province has selected energy security as a provincial government game changer.

“[This is] because we know that a sustainable and affordable energy supply is essential to attracting even more job creating local and foreign investment. We are making good progress.

“South Africa is the world’s fastest growing green economy. And in partnership with GreenCape, we are establishing the province as the hub of this growth, with two thirds of South Africa’s green manufacturing taking place in the Western Cape,” said MEC Winde.

Renewable energy sector expert at GreenCape, Maloba G Tshehla, said African Utility Week is a key opportunity for businesses and investors in the water and electricity space to stay abreast of developments and to network with key players.

“The event is not only for people who work for utilities but also for businesses, investors and other players active within these value chains. GreenCape, a key source of knowledge and market intelligence in the sector, will have a stand again, and businesses and government can chat with the team about work they have been doing to create demand in the embedded generation space,” Tshehla said.

The team at the GreenCape stand will also offer market insight and advice on the water development nexus as well as advice on overall sustainability for retailers.

The 17th annual African Utility Week that is taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre will conclude on Thursday, 18 May.

South Africa

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Nigeria: Allow States to Generate, Distribute Power, Says Tambuwal

By Eric Meya

Sokoto — Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has called for a review of the law on power generation in the country, so that states would be allowed to generate and distribute electricity.

The governor who spoke yesterday while opening the 2017 Law Week of Sokoto State branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), said the existing practice of states generating power and evacuating it to the national grid was no longer in the best interest of the country.

He also said there should be a review of the method of appointment of states’ representatives to federal agencies such as the Federal Character Commission, National Population Commission and the Revenue and Fiscal Mobilisation Commission.

He canvassed for the separation of the offices of the Federal Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to avoid partisanship and hampering the ability of the latter to prosecute cases without bias.

The governor also supported a review of the revenue sharing formula so that states and local councils would get more allocation.

Tambuwal suggested that the railway service should be removed from the exclusive legislative list so that interested states would be able to invest in it.

He assured the NBA that its members would be included in the proposed general review of the state’s laws, which he described as obsolete.

“The laws have to be properly updated to address present realities. Imagine, some of the laws are still using pounds and shillings,” he stated.

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South Africa: SACP Protesters Call On Entire Eskom Board to Resign

The Western Cape SACP on Tuesday staged an illegal protest in front of the Cape Town Convention Centre (CTICC), calling for the entire Eskom board to resign.

Reappointed Eskom chair Brian Molefe was expected to address the African Utility Week at the CTICC in the morning, but unexpectedly cancelled his appearance.

Provincial South African Communist Party secretary Benson Ngqentsu said the protest is against the continued looting at the parastatal.

“Brian Molefe has been redeployed to open the coffers of Eskom for looting,” Ngqentsu told News24.

“He and the entire board should resign,” he said.

Private security

Roughly about 50 SACP supporters gathered outside the CTICC with a strong police presence.

They were holding up posters calling on Parliament to hold an enquiry into Eskom, Prasa and PetroSA. One poster read: “Do not extend the CPS/NET1 contract”.

Private security was posted every entrance of the building.

CTICC spokesperson Susan Davis said they are in conversation with event organisers to ensure the safety of delegates.

Earlier on Tuesday, Davis said she was on the way to organise security on the convention floor.

Protestors were asked to exit the convention square by police, when the shouted “Pantsi Eskom Pantsi.”

“Pantsi Jacob Zuma pantsi,” was later shouted by protesters.

Ngqentsu earlier said the relevant authorities were not available on Monday to gain the necessary permission for the protest.

Source: News24

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South Africa: Panic Buying and Violent Protests After Power Failure in Port Elizabeth

By Joseph Chirume

Protests in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth, turned violent on Saturday after residents were left without electricity from Friday. Electricity was restored on Sunday. A vehicle was torched and all major roads into the township blocked with burning tyres and debris. Five cars were badly damaged.

Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki said, “Over the weekend it was a cable fault that led to the blackout. Fixing it took time.”

On Monday, residents were again without electricity for two hours after a circuit breaker at Motherwell South substation tripped, according to Mniki.

Police spokesperson Andre Beegte said a case of public violence had been opened but there had been no arrests.

During the protests, a young boy, holding stones in both his hands, said, “This place will soon be ungovernable … We will only open this road when electricity is restored. No car will pass this area or we will burn both the driver and their car.”

Thoko Amanzi, a mother of two who works as a mechanic in Uitenhage, said, “The residents are justified to protest, but I don’t condone the destroying of property. It is very expensive to buy a car only to see it being burned to ashes by an angry mob that has issues with their municipality. I don’t support this violent behaviour. We should only protest peacefully.”

She said, “We were caught unaware by this blackout. I had stashed my deep fridge with food stuff to last the entire month. I have had to throw away the food to dogs because it was smelling badly … Where will I get money to replace that food? I only get paid at the end of the month and there are two weeks remaining.”

She said she was hoping to join other residents to seek compensation from the municipality.

Residents scrambled to buy candles and paraffin at spaza shops. Bread and milk also soon vanished from shelves.

Mohammed Musa, who owns a spaza shop in NU8, said, “We quickly ran out of stock. Residents were buying in panic. Bread, candles, matches as well as paraffin quickly sold out. We also sold a lot of drinks and tinned food as some residents did not have time to cook on their own. The situation reminded me of a war zone where people buy in bulk to stockpile food.”

Musa said they could not restock their shelves because “we were afraid that our vehicles would be stoned. So we ended up turning away hungry customers. By Sunday morning, I had run out of food stuffs.”

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South Africa: Collapse of Ethics in Public Life – How Do We Rebuild?

analysis

Some writers suggest that had Brian Molefe’s reputation not been sullied he could have succeeded in a range of positions inside the country or abroad. But we need to appreciate that the crisis of ethics in our country that has been identified by many people is not purely a failure of judgement on the part of individuals. In our social and political life it relates to a significant degree to patron-client relations. Unless the ethical flaws of individuals are addressed contextually, we will not find a remedy. By RAYMOND SUTTNER.

Many writers have remarked on the qualities possessed by Brian Molefe, that he had gained experience in the Treasury and other institutions or organisations that would have fitted him for a range of high-ranking jobs, nationally and internationally. He chose instead to put his skills at the service of the Guptas and in fact prostrated himself at their feet and that of Jacob Zuma and to do whatever they required, much of this being of doubtful legality.

In saying that Molefe has various qualities, this is not to accept all the evaluations of what Molefe achieved for there are questions around whether or not his time at Eskom was a…

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Ghana: Prophet Adam Blames God for Failed Dumsor Prophesy

By Matilda Asare

Prophet Jackson Kwadwo Adam says he still stands by his prophecy and will not retract

The prophet who predicted total blackout in the entire nation on Sunday is ready to be sacrificed.

Prophet Jackson Kwadwo Adam maintains that he had the revelation from God but “He [God] decides what to do at any given time”.

Prophet Adams caused fire and panic in the country after Ghana will be plunged into a total blackout known in local parlance as dumsor in the entire country for three weeks.

He explained that the mysterious blackout which will leave the entire country without electricity will happen on Sunday, May 14, 2017.

Many were confused since the country has just recovered from the incessant erratic power supply popularly known as dumsor.

As we kept our fingers crossed, the entire country on Sunday had light and no one even complained about low current in their area.

But Prophet Jackson Kwadwo Adam said God is to blame for the failed prophecy.

“I am who I am [God] in his mind knows what He is doing so I still stand by what I said. I will not retract” he stated on Adom Evening News Monday.

The man of God said Ghanaians would be justified if they decide to lynch him for causing fear and panic but “So long as Christ is alive, I’m not afraid”.

Prophet Adam, however, urged Ghanaians not to treat the prophecy with contempt since it is very likely to come to pass.

‘Let us prepare ourselves so we don’t know the second, minute, hour so let us wait’.

Ghana

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South Africa: Leaders’ Influence On Ethical Conduct – Why Do We Have a Problem?

analysisBy Trevor Manuel

Leaders should be expected to act with fairness, with integrity and in trust, and to use these intangible values to shape inclusive and accountable institutions. The conduct we have to counteract is, “What can I get away with?” and replace it with “How we can best serve?”

Whatever I thought of the scale of the ethical challenges before, the events at Eskom continue to catapult the issue into sharp focus. The gist of the problem is that Eskom decided to re-employ Mr Brian Molefe as its CEO after he announced his resignation as recent as November last year, and declared in his statement:

“I have, in the interests of good governance, decided to leave my employ at Eskom from 01 January 2017. I do so voluntarily.”

In its attempt to explain the reasons for the decision to reappoint Mr Molefe, the board of Eskom produced a set of the most incredible reasons – key amongst these was that when Minister Lynne Brown decided to decline the Board’s request to pay him a pension of R30-million; the entire deal of his resignation fell apart and since they could not pay him the R30-million, they had to re-employ him. To this shocking…

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Nigeria: Power Sector, Key in Taking Nigeria Out of Recession – Fashola

By Simon Echewofun Sunday

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has said the power sector is a major contributor in getting Nigeria out of the economic recession by improving electricity supply to industrial, commercial, small and medium enterprises.

Fashola stated this at the presentation of a book to him titled ‘Power Sector Under President Muhammadu Buhari’ in Abuja recently.

He revealed that the sector is one of the five key intervention programmes of the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) recently launched by the government.

He commended the author, Mr. Uche Aneke, for his in-depth knowledge of the sector and simplifying the knowledge of electricity to the ordinary Nigerian.

During the monthly operators’ tour meeting, Fashola explained that the power sector needed to engage everybody so as to reveal to Nigerians government’s effort.

Mr. Aneke earlier disclosed that the book made an effort to document activities in the power sector, especially the giant strides the minister made since coming on board.

He appreciated the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, who wrote the foreword.

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