ANC government failed to implement its own energy policy for 25 years – Chris Yelland

Energy analyst Chris Yelland said the ANC government unveiled its plan for South Africa’s electricity market 25 years ago, but very little has happened to implement it.

Yelland referred to the Department of Minerals and Energy White Paper on the Energy Policy of the Republic of South Africa, published in 1998.

It provided a background to South Africa’s energy sector, key policy challenges, and the government’s proposed policies.

It also provided details about the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation to meet the country’s electricity needs.

The White Paper famously warned that unless the government acted, Eskom’s generation capacity surplus would be fully utilised by about 2007.

The government did not act, and by 2007, the electricity demand exceeded supply, forcing Eskom to implement load-shedding to prevent a national blackout.

Despite promising drastic action, the government failed to address South Africa’s electricity problems, and the situation deteriorated significantly since 2007.

In 2023, south Africa experienced more load-shedding than ever before, with stage 6 power cuts occurring regularly.

Speaking to Newzroom Africa, Yelland said the white paper highlighted the need to unbundle Eskom, create an electricity market, and add more generation capacity to the grid.

It further suggested that the private sector plays a significant role in South Africa’s electricity supply industry.

“It is 25 years later, and we are still talking about the same things, including Eskom’s unbundling, an electricity market, and the private sector’s involvement in generation,” he said.

“The government has failed to implement its own policies over the last 25 years. It failed to do what the white paper said.”

He added that even when the government decided to add new generation capacity through the Medupi and Kusile power stations, it was marred by delays.

“These power stations are still not completed, and there have been tremendous cost overruns,” Yelland said.

These failings resulted in the electricity crisis the country is experiencing, which is why the government can be blamed for load-shedding.

Andre de Ruyter weighs in

Former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter, who currently lives in the United States, also blamed the ANC government for load-shedding.

De Ruyter told Rapport that the North Gauteng High Court justifiably placed the blame for South Africa’s energy crisis where it belongs – the government.

He said the ANC government’s decades-long mismanagement of South Africa’s electricity network plunged the country into an energy crisis.

De Ruyter’s comments followed shortly after former Eskom spokesman Sikonathi Mantshantsha said the ANC, and the ANC only, is responsible for South Africa’s electricity crisis.

Mantshantsha commented on South Africa’s electricity crisis and Eskom’s collapse in a recent News24 column.

Ramokgopa told Parliament that no individual was responsible for Eskom’s deterioration and the country’s energy crisis.

He lambasted Ramokgopa’s claim that no individual was responsible for Eskom’s deterioration and the country’s energy crisis.

“This is pure nonsense. Maybe not one individual, no. But it is very clear that one party is culpable,” he said.

“The ANC is fully and entirely responsible for the crisis of electricity in South Africa for the past 17 years. Ramokgopa knows this. All of us do.”

“We all know the ANC’s policies and its practice of cadre deployment; direct and indirect looting of state institutions are the instruments it employed to the great devastation of those institutions.”


Top JSE indices