'SA facing serious energy crisis'

2009-04-03 08:04

Pretoria - Urgent steps are needed to counter South Africa's low electricity reserve margin, Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica said on Thursday.

Despite the success of the Earth Hour on Saturday, which was reported to have saved 400 kilowatts of electricity, the minister urged South Africans to do more.

She said the government commended the Earth Hour initiative and hoped that it promoted awareness that the country was still facing a serious energy crisis.

"South Africa is one of the least energy efficient nations in the world and the least efficient in Africa", she said.

"We also hold the number 11 spot on the top 20 greenhouse gas emitters list and are responsible for 42% of Africa's emissions. Every kilowatt of electricity you use produces one kilogram of carbon dioxide, one of the main greenhouse gases."

Two years ago, the minister warned that South Africans needed to start saving 10% of their electricity usage every year for the next five years or the energy supply would be threatened.

In early 2008, periodic blackouts outraged all South Africans, yet by October of the same year only 0.4 percent had been saved.

'We are in trouble'

A healthy electricity reserve margin sat at 17 to 20%, an amount that ensured sudden changes in demand or supply and power-plant maintenance did not cause blackouts, but South Africa's reserve margin remained much lower than that.

"The recent lack of blackouts has led to the assumption that our energy situation has been resolved," Sonjica said.

"Unfortunately this is far from the truth. We are in trouble unless we all begin to take responsibility for our habits of energy wastage."

She said nations across the world were rising to the challenge of sustainable energy development and conservation.

"If the following key sectors: residential, business, industry, mining and the government are not conscious of our high energy consumption levels, we run the risk of negatively impacting on the businesses, social infrastructure as well as the environment."

"We are not alone in the energy emergency we are facing today."

Sonjica said energy sustainability had become an issue that no country, industry or individual could afford to ignore.

"We can easily reach our 10 percent target simply by making small changes in our homes and businesses," she said.



Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24


Madonsela to probe ANC food-for-votes claims

Public protector Thuli Madonsela has launched an investigation into whether the ANC has used state resources for its electoral campaign, says a report.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB

There are no straight lines in nature. The Samsung  GALAXY...

From R3525.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.