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Western Cape Government | 27 February 2023

Media release: Premier to push for targeted, transparent Energy State of Disaster at PCC with clear accountability.

Premier Alan Winde will be part of the Special President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) meeting this evening where the proposed regulations around the National State of Disaster on the energy crisis are expected to be discussed.

The National State of Disaster was declared 17 days ago. “President Cyril Ramaphosa should have called a PCC much earlier. Many South Africans are understandably anxious about the regulations and desperately need clarity on this issue,” said the Premier ahead of the PCC gathering.

“At the meeting, I will push for clear, decisive action that does not needlessly and arbitrarily infringe on citizens’ rights. The blackouts catastrophe itself is already an affront to residents’ rights. I will also make the point that we cannot have the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs overseeing this proposed state of disaster.

Her arbitrary and reckless reign over South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic was disastrous. South Africans have lost their trust in her. The only regulations that should be contemplated must be targeted at fixing the problem, which are the daily blackouts and the collapse of Eskom.”

The Premier wants to see the following measures announced at the PCC:

  • The streamlining of supply chain management processes for municipal and provincial own generation through shortening timelines, relaxing requirements around preferential procurement, and allowing for processes such as limited bids;

  • The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition must relax regulations on the importing of energy-efficient products, including batteries, inverters, and solar panels, to allow for more open market competition until the energy crisis ends;

  • Further reduce and streamline Environmental Impact Assessment processes for new generation capacity at local and provincial levels outside of the Renewable Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) process;

  • Increased security measures to safeguard energy infrastructure.

In addition to these proposals, but outside of the State of Disaster, Premier Winde and the Western Cape Government have also called for:

  • The tax break incentive for SMMEs to invest in solar to be increased from 125% to 140%;

  • Allow households’ tax rebates on a wider basket of energy-producing and saving products, not just for solar. This would include LED bulbs, ripple control geysers, and LPG gas for stoves. Increase the tax break incentive for households from R15 000 to R4 0000;

  • declare diesel a strategic resource. This would ensure PetroSA sells it to Eskom at cost price to ensure the adequate resourcing of open cycle gas turbines to offset load shedding; and

  • reduce the levy or provide tax breaks on diesel used to produce electricity

“I will push hard for these proposals,” Premier Winde stressed. “South Africans deserve transparency. The President must not only offer words of assurance that this emergency intervention will not descend into another corruption fiasco like that which marred the COVID-19 State of Disaster, but he must also put in place steps to ensure greater transparency and accountability. This State of Disaster must be managed in the interests of all South Africans and the economy. The Western Cape Government will not tolerate sweeping, draconian measures unrelated to the crisis being considered,” he concluded.

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


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