The ANC stepped into the breach for its secretary general after it was reported that Fikile Mbalula said that climate finance between South Africa and Western countries is responsible for the ongoing load shedding in South Africa.
According to the ANC, Mbalula’s words were distorted. “The ANC strongly refutes any claims that climate change is to blame for load shedding,” said Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri, ANC spokesperson.
Mbalula reportedly presented two key arguments during Thursday’s debate of political party leaders in Johannesburg.
“Firstly, the point made by our Secretary General contradicts the claim that Eskom’s malfunctioning is due to cadre deployment. The secretary general pointed out that Eskom had its worst performance when the head was not a ‘cadre’.
“Secondly, the secretary general supports the independent power producers programme. He emphasized that this program is of critical importance to maintaining reliable energy supply in South Africa. Finally, he argues that the transition to clean energy must be fair and equitable. At no stage did he suggest that climate change was causing load shedding. He doesn’t even use the term ‘climate change’.”
Mbalula was accused of saying that South Africa’s ongoing load-shedding crisis was a direct result of the just energy transition investment plan. It is an $8.8 billion investment that aims to achieve South Africa’s transition from coal to cleaner and sustainable energy sources.
According to Bhengu-Motsiri, the ANC is content with its position on energy security and a fair and equitable transition to cleaner energy.
“Our approach to energy security is guided by the integrated resource plan, which envisages the use of an optimal mix of energy sources such as coal, solar, wind, gas, nuclear, hydro and energy storage to ensure the security of the supply of electricity maintain at the lowest cost to the South African economy. In addition to focusing on improving Eskom generation, rapid deployment of other alternatives for electricity generation capacity must be provided.”
According to Bhengu-Motsiri, the investment plans for a just energy transition must be effectively introduced, as well as further resources mobilized to finance electricity generation and transmission investments in a manner that includes grants and highly favorable financing.
“Such financing must be structured to prevent the country’s sovereign debt position from deteriorating.”