News24

Numsa: Prevent renewable energy 'hijack'

2012-02-04 22:45

Johannesburg - The National Union of Metals Workers of South Africa (Numsa) said its energy conference, underway on Saturday, was aimed at preventing the renewable energy sector from being dominated by a capitalist system.

Numsa president Cedric Gina said in his opening address: "We are currently facing a situation in which the expansion of the renewable energy sector is rapidly developing along capitalist lines."

The international conference is centred around talks on building a renewal a renewable energy sector in South Africa.

He said workers and communities were at risk of being left behind and "being forced to pay the costs of the sector’s expansion".

Gina said the union had a vested interest in the renewable sector as it has "comrades who produce small wind turbines, solar water heaters and solar panels".

He said the building of the renewable energy sector raised questions about who would benefit from its emergence.

"Do communities stand to benefit or is this another capitalist grab to enrich a few? This is why we have chosen to host this conference about socially-owned renewable energy," he said.

"For whom is the renewable energy being produced? Is it for big corporations who get the electricity at a discount or is it to give access to those who presently do not have access?" he asked.

Policy

"The renewable energy sector can use cheap labour, exploit women and children, use labour brokers and be dangerous in terms of occupational health and safety.
"Without being defensive, we need an analysis of the renewable energy sector so as to steer it in our favour."

He said the conference was aimed at deepening the understanding of "what a socially-owned renewable energy sector might look like.

"We are referring to a mix of different forms of collective ownership - energy parastatals, municipal-owned solar parks; wind co-operatives and other community-owned and controlled renewable energy companies."

Gina said the conference hoped to develop "a framework and concrete proposals for building such a sector in South Africa".

The conference would hear international experiences from several countries including Mali, Tunisia, Denmark, Spain, China and Mexico.

He said the conference was aimed at developing a strong energy policy aimed at shaping South Africa’s industrial development in the field.





Comments
  • Deepchund - 2012-02-04 23:00

    NUMSA, all the best for your conference. Well done on ensuring the capitalists stay out.Is it not time for the Unions pool their financial resources to manufacture solar equipment so that South Africans could afford the equipment?

      alansmartSnr - 2012-02-05 00:19

      @ Deepchund.. What a stupid mission! If they want to channel the development of renewable energy to who ever, nobody will, or can stop them. The point is can they finance it.. Definately NO!! WTF..They want big Corperations to provide the capital and then they want to have the benefit of the investment. So typical of these "unions". They have been putting on the breaks for development of this wonderful country now for 17 years. Wish they would employ a qualified and honest economist to advise them. The unions are this country,s worst enemy. Thank God they are well on the way to self destruction!

      Hermann - 2012-02-05 06:56

      And they will still paralyse whatever with their strikes and destructive wage demands.

      Xavier7034 - 2012-02-05 07:34

      I have already made my own L.E.D. Solar lights from a design in Popular Mechanics - Private enterprise - I don't need any Unions to tell me how to use what Nature gave us for free - the Sun. Just this sort of attitude from Numsa and their ilk is likely to see SA losing the SKA project in the Karoo to Australia. Private Enterprise works.....Unions don't....check to see how "well" the Gautrain buses run because of wildcat union interference. They do not know what HARD work is, and South African Unionised labour is fast pricing itself out of contention for BADLY needed investment....which makes jobs. Tell us of ONE "Socialised" state which WORKS. Capitalism is NOT perfect....but it DOES work, and it DOES bring jobs. The only people who really score in the end with the Unions are some of the Shop Stewards and Union Leaders.

  • Sinudeity - 2012-02-05 00:58

    "...was aimed at preventing the renewable energy sector from being dominated by a capitalist system." IE, whites :P

      Xavier7034 - 2012-02-05 08:47

      Like the Nationalised "Highly successful" ESKOM and exhorbitant electricity charges - ask ANYBODY how much more they are paying on their Power Bills these days. The fact is, to bring the costs DOWN to you and I, the power supply needs to be de-regulated, to allow private enterprise to generate other forms of power, including Wind, Solar, Ocean Wave action, Canals from 8 points along our coast, Salt (yes SALT - it is already being used in Nevada's New Molten Salt Solar Plant) Then, another is to have a circumscribing band of reflective satellites around the equator which can redirect solar energy to specific points around the globe. There are MANY ideas....but it needs HUGE investment.....

      Bibi - 2012-02-05 10:37

      and the black diamonds.

  • Sinudeity - 2012-02-05 00:59

    Yeah, I think the unions should start putting their 'money where their mouthes' are. Start your own businesses dudes, instead of always complaining about the businesses of others.

  • Butch - 2012-02-05 03:52

    You do'nt mean the capitalist sytem Numsa, you mean the anc and it's cadres and cronies - they are the hijackers and dominating these days - get you facts right for this one.

      Dave - 2012-02-05 06:31

      Agreed Butch, show me somthing the ANC has made a success of to benifit the poor, not to enrich the chosen few. The chosen few are not white any more the majority are black BBBEE and other such schemes. Cheap renewable energy is a thing for the future of SA. They is free to become a stakeholder under the same conditions as everybody else or do they want now to be classed with the privalidged few, somthing for nothing.

      carpejugulim - 2012-02-05 07:27

      Gina said the union had a vested interest in the renewable sector as it has "comrades who produce small wind turbines, solar water heaters and solar panels". Does this mean that the cost of changing over to renewable energy sources will no longer necessitate the selling of both one's kidneys?

  • Simon - 2012-02-05 06:20

    When will these unionists learn that capitalism is the ONLY economic model which works. Sure, the capitalists get wealthy but, they did the thinking, the investment, the design and development, created the infrastructure for manufacturing AND provided much needed jobs. If any Union wished to do the same I would support them! What I won't support is successful capitalist organizations being stolen from their creators, and then so badly mismanaged, with the result of bankruptcy and consequent LOSS OF JOBS. (See Zimbabwe farming sector for reference). Wake up the masses. Get wise.

      Ben - 2012-02-05 06:42

      Agree. And then some heavy production losses in the S.A. farming sector as well. The idea of course is not to provide for union members, but as happened and is happening now using these members to enrich the leaders. Examples are plenty all over Africa and in S.A. too with tender fraud, corruption as well as a lavish lifestyle ans large salaries only for a few. When will the Union members and voters ever get a fair deal?

  • frans.vanzyl - 2012-02-05 06:46

    "We are referring to a mix of different forms of collective ownership - energy parastatals, municipal-owned solar parks; wind co-operatives and other community-owned and controlled renewable energy companies." - Is Eskom not an excellent example of a energy parastatal? Yes we want of that?!? NOT!!! Its time the private sector gets a chance to provide energy to the grid and create some competition.

  • Andries - 2012-02-05 07:14

    "Numsa president Cedric Gina said in his opening address: "We are currently facing a situation in which the expansion of the renewable energy sector is rapidly developing along capitalist lines." Comrade Cedric Gina, SA is a socialist state we know, but all the time your ANC fat cats are enriching yourselves from the vestiges of the capitalist system. And nationalising / setting up communal / communist) ownership will kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

  • Brent - 2012-02-05 08:01

    WORK, WORK , WORK FOR IT , NOTHING IS FOR FREE, WAKE UP PLEASE NUMSA, NO MORE HANDOUTS!

  • Wesley - 2012-02-05 08:34

    So numsa want to hijack it first. If we must wait for them to take any discions, we will not have renewable energy sources for the next 100 years

  • Pieter - 2012-02-05 08:41

    Why do you people argue with Numsa? Rather argue with a brick. You might just get more intelligence out of it!

  • Adolf - 2012-02-05 08:42

    And then you go and buy it from China! Saves you all the effort to make it in the capitalist factories and your union members can sit under a tree and wait.

  • Zion - 2012-02-05 08:46

    Always so interesting when ignorance in its greatest form has so much to say.NUMSA is or is supposed to be a trade union but are blaring their lungs out on a subject they probably know very little about. What they are aware of is the potentialm for oodles of cash to be had. Silly little capitalistic pigs.

  • Joe - 2012-02-05 08:47

    Then get on with it Mr Gina. Start a business, source the interest bearing capital, which is required to produce the equipment for the renewable energy plant you wish to manufacture. Oh and don't forget that there are risks associated with this business and you must be accountable should you fail.

  • Bibi - 2012-02-05 10:40

    What a good idea! I assume you will finance it yourself (hooray for the taxpayers!) or will China finance it for you and provide the workforce (like they do all over Africa)and the local jobless won't benefit.

  • Robsschele - 2012-02-05 10:55

    Nobody was interested in solar water heaters etc. when little money was involved. Now that it becomes a big market everyone want to jump on the wagon. NUMSA stop talking and start creating jobs. Put all these implements on the market at an affordable price and you will keep out the capitalists (also all these cadres of the ANC).

  • Zion - 2012-02-05 12:24

    Off the mark but related: Last night it was seen on TV that the people of Thabong, the township of Welkom, were up to their usual tricks burning businesses, looting, and damaging other private concerns because the mines in the area do not or cannot give them jobs. These people know that the mines are continually on a marginal profit structure and cannot afford to employ more workers while the current workforce is already beyond its mark. Would they be happy to receive a negotiated half-pay? Probably not. This type of cut-you-wrist thinking has become alien to normal working and thinking persons yet for these idiot toi-toi-ers is must be the norm. One now starts to see the advantages of basic education.

  • Thembani Mbinda - 2013-05-09 09:50

    I believe workers through their union investment ventures should invest in renewable energy solutions! by participating, earning,generating power, partnering with progressive companies and lead the business space. we should also acknowledge that unions themselves are product of capitalism and should fit well in the very system.

  • Thembani Mbinda - 2013-05-09 09:58

    we will welcome NUMSA in renewable energy should it come in as an investor in support of the poor getting energy easier and cheaper.They should invest in generating renewable energy and be sold cheaper to the people. UNIONS are a capitalist product themselves, all what is left its for them to use the same system to uplift the lives of the poor something that the capitalist will not do.

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