SA’s energy crisis causing economic decline, reluctance to achieve zero emissions by 2050

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South Africa is facing an energy crisis that is killing the economy and forcing the country to renege on some of its promises and undertakings to reach its net zero emissions target by 2050.

One of the major stumbling blocks is the internal power struggles within the ruling party, that seems to disagree on the country’s Integrated Resource Plan, thus delaying the implementation of renewable energy projects.

Great promises were made by government to focus on independent power producers and develop renewable energy projects like solar plants in the Northern Cape.

Dean of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Stellenbosch, Wikus van Niekerk says, “Politics is a problem. We know the Energy Minister [Gwede Mantashe] is involved in coal transport and mining and the President [Cyril Ramaphosa] want renewable energy.”

“They don’t see eye to eye and those two heavy weights have a tussle going on and poor people are at the mercy of this power struggle.”

Experts say if we do not act speedily our livelihoods will be severely impacted.

Not only could people die of suspected heatstroke like the seven farmworkers in Kakamas in the Northern Cape earlier this year, but food security will also be compromised.

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