Africa still too dark - Peters

2012-07-19 19:47

Johannesburg - Africa needs to move away from being the darkest continent at night, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said on Thursday.

"There are little sparkles in Africa. There are a few in South Africa, Nigeria, and Egypt, but the rest [of Africa] is dark," Peters said at the SA National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) in Johannesburg.

"Sanedi as an entity is responsible for energy research... We should be well positioned to help identify future energy needs. This has been declared the year of energy by the United Nations."

Peters said Sanedi was expected to help the government. She said power pools in South Africa needed to be strengthened, and for this to happen investment was needed.

Sanedi had established a strategic plan, part of which was establishing "smarter" power grids.

"The smarter the grid the better the service... We can deliver."

A smart grid uses technology to gather information about the behaviour of suppliers and consumers, to improve the efficiency and reliability of electricity production and distribution.

Peters urged South Africans to install solar water heaters in their homes, as she had done.

"You will save at least 50% [on your electricity bill]... Install that solar water heater.

"I know people like things for mahala [free]; this is half mahala."

Peters said if one million solar water heaters were installed in South Africa by 2014, the country would save 3000MW.

"Save us from building another coal power plant... Make a personal contribution as a family and as an individual."

  • RiD123 - 2012-07-19 20:01

    Peters obviously had the money to install that solar water heater....

      Lacrimose - 2012-07-19 20:06

      Not that a solar water heater will light up the sky :). I put in solar a year ago and my bill is greatly reduced. Still, with the mammoth electricity, fuel and food hikes, it's not as if that 'extra cash' has materialised

  • dan.cooper.9634 - 2012-07-19 20:06

    Strange comment from the prince of darkness about the continent of darkness

      antin.herinck - 2012-07-20 01:34

      Agreed. But incomprehensibly we find here people who think her blathering this mixture of platitudes and crap-showing-how-clueless she is, as great. Go figure.

  • KeeperofChaos - 2012-07-19 20:17

    What cloud are you on Peters? How about switching off streetlights along the highway and major roads during the day? Smarter municipalities = smarter service delivery. Smarter power grids my ass! Who's going to pay for that... We are sucked bone dry already with all the heavy taxes and levies. Subsidize the solar panels by at least 75% and we will gladly install them.

  • BulletProof. - 2012-07-19 20:20

    Of course Africa always will be to dark.Surprised?

  • Jean - 2012-07-19 20:21

    were darkest continent during the day as well...

  • wendy.schneider3 - 2012-07-19 20:23

    you here the bell ringing... but can you find them? elections are coming making the right naughs!

  • anton.burger.16 - 2012-07-19 20:24

    "There are little sparkles in Africa. There are a few in South Africa, Nigeria, and Egypt, but the rest [of Africa] is dark," Peters said at the SA National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) in Johannesburg......good grief, is this salami for real????..

      giovanni.izar - 2012-07-19 20:51

      DO NOT EVER! talk like that about salami. Sis man!

  • Tshepo Mongale - 2012-07-19 20:26

    I use less than 20 KWH per day madam minister. and you?

      Lacrimose - 2012-07-19 20:32

      Please also ask the minister and all the other ministers, why our solar panels come from places like China. There's a burgeoning industry here but China's products out-price and EU's products out-perform. Where is the investment - which includes infrastructure and adequately educated people - for us to produce such things?

      jason.sole.92 - 2012-07-19 21:25

      Tshepo, i hate to say this but its not the 20kw ppl that are the problem, its the elite few and large industry

  • eddy.deepfield - 2012-07-19 20:28

    No rather do your job and provide another power station. What is wrong with you all ways wanting handouts.

      jason.sole.92 - 2012-07-19 21:25

      No more power stations, decentralise the grid and go solar. while on the subject if you think your solar quote is to high hunt around because its actually very cheap

      eddy.deepfield - 2012-07-20 13:19

      Forget solar heaters. The are not reliable, freeze in winter and last maybe three years before having to be TOTALY replaced. The government must be getting some kind of kick back.

  • Simon Patrick Ric-Hansen - 2012-07-19 20:28

    The guys building the telescope will love this comment. Sa was chosen because of the clear skies and I think it's a great plus to live in a place where you can see stars at night. That said everyone should have access to elec. but come on, the biggest charm of africa is nature.

      patrick.saunders123 - 2012-07-19 20:47

      SKA is a radio telescope. It's affected by radio interference but not light.

      jason.sole.92 - 2012-07-19 21:24

      Are you sure about that, if that was the case and light wasnt an issue why would they put it in Sutherland

      antin.herinck - 2012-07-20 01:39

      Patric is right. And where there is an absence of electric light, there's also an absence of man-generated electromagnetic interference.

  • des.cider - 2012-07-19 20:33

    Indeed, indeed! I need far more light in order to see the faces of those people who try to break into my property at night.

  • Lacrimose - 2012-07-19 20:38

    Bookmarking this article for the "...We can deliver." Also please see this Youtube post where people use plastic cold drink bottles to generate solar - a method used in many countries. We don't HAVE to pay thousands, we can do it right now!

      antin.herinck - 2012-07-20 01:58

      Wolfie, I have a dilemma here. Should I just shut up and let you be -or should I point out that it's best not to waste people's time with your crap here and caution you. You wrote: "We don't HAVE to pay thousands, we can do it right now!" Is ask, with bitter tears of utter frustration rolling down: DO YOU HAVE BLEEDING WINDOWS IN YOUR HOUSE? WELL, THEN THINK BEFORE YOU START CUTTING HOLES IN YOUR ROOF AND STICKING COKE BOTTLES IN THEM! AND IN CASE YOU MISSED THE BLEEDING OBVIOUS THIS W O N T WORK AT NIGHT!!!! (Thanks, I feel better now.) If you want to go ahead nevertheless, be so kind to notify your neighbours and your local rate-payers association. They may have a prob or two with your house looking like some crazy science experiment -not so good for property values. P.S Wolfie, if you live in a windowless shack -ignore the above.

      Lacrimose - 2012-07-20 21:59

      @antin.herinck (for I presume your comments are directed at me). Had you watched the video and maybe searched for similar, you will see that the 'windowless shack' owners are the innovators and implementers of this concept. And as for the "bleeding obvious" I live alongside a freeway whose lights are totally powered AT NIGHT by solar power. It's about capturing the heat and energy during the day. If you had watched the videos, you would have learnt a little something about solar power and how it need not take R20 000 Made In China solar panels to get it.

  • Simon Patrick Ric-Hansen - 2012-07-19 20:40

    Having just read this again I was struck by this. A smart grid uses technology to gather information about the behaviour of suppliers and consumers, to improve the efficiency and reliability of electricity production and distribution. What are they doing at the moment. Sure their job is to do the above. Sounds like they are just guessing at the moment. Lol

      gordon.trevat - 2012-07-19 23:42

      In some countries, offering discounts to customers who reduced their usage during peak hours (needs smart monitors) resulted in significant decreases in maximum peak thresholds. btw. Has anyone worked out how much the mines, etc are paid for the non-use of electricity when they undergo Eskom requested maintenance?

  • raymond.abrahamse - 2012-07-19 20:43

    Start off with the people's mind set.If you live in the past,you will stay in the past.

  • trevor.putterill - 2012-07-19 20:48

    I have got it she is scared of the DARK!!

  • Felix Njewa Kankhukwa - 2012-07-19 20:52

    The dark continent but at night!

  • pohamba.nenghwanya - 2012-07-19 20:54

    I hate this comments by a SA minister.. I assume she is white.

      charmaine.paterson1 - 2012-07-19 21:12

      You assume incorrectly.

      Anthea - 2012-07-19 21:19


      marina.poniatowska - 2012-07-19 21:20

      Racist much, Pohamba???

      Looker.Paul - 2012-07-19 21:41

      @Poobam i find your idiotic comment lacking ,you are the problem with this country!

      charl.deswardt - 2012-07-19 21:43

      unless you find a white minister in a racist government with the name of Dupio, then i think you are completely wrong.

      des.cider - 2012-07-19 23:38

      Not white, but intelligent..and competent

      antin.herinck - 2012-07-20 01:01

      Des: too much cider killed off the brain-cells!

      antin.herinck - 2012-07-20 01:29

      Haha, Pohamba. I gave you my thumbs up. This is truly funny and original. I mean, you were joking, were you not? Nobody is that utterly moronic, no? Hey Pohaaaaamba...

  • flaming.oven - 2012-07-19 21:08

    Give that man/woman a candle!

  • marina.poniatowska - 2012-07-19 21:19

    So why exactly would you like light up the Sahara dessert?

  • charmaine.paterson1 - 2012-07-19 21:21

    What an idiotic statement! Eskom begs us to switch off electrical appliances all the time. I would love a solar heater but cannot afford one, we don't all earn what you do, Ms Peters.

  • antin.herinck - 2012-07-19 21:42

    Of course we are relying on the reporting here, which may not be accurately reflecting Peters' talk. But what on earth does she mean with "power pools"? And why must they be strengthened? Do we need more 1200 watt drills in Africa? Oh one is talking about "power generating capacity","power PLANTS"! Ironic, ESKOM, is battling to supply SA, burning diesel (@ 10x the cost!) to make up the current shortfall. ESKOM is bleeding the nation dry with never-ending massive tariff increases -all because that moronic bunch who want to govern thought they knew better when ESKOM's- and other experts said looong time ago: "listen, we need to invest in power-plants." Deaf ears and all. And now she comes and pretends to be able to lecture us. Another sample of why one cannot her seriously: “Peters said if one million solar water heaters were installed in South Africa by 2014, the country would save 3000MW.” Ja, only if those 1 mil solar water heaters would: 1) NEVER, ever use additional electricity to further heat the water 2) Would replace conventional heaters (rating 3 Kw) that would be switched on 24/7, and have the hot water-tap running 24/7. Moron! She and her speech writers as so clueless, it's not funny. This is 11th-grade physics. At a thumb-suck, in practice it would save LESS than 800 MW people being ever more frugal with their water-heaters. And here comes Madam PowerTool and talk about lighting up Africa and tell other African countries what they must do!

  • bfvillet - 2012-07-19 22:20

    seems government is missing the point again even with the escom rebate solar geysers are still expensive, maybe they should look at what government can do to make these reneweable sources of energy cheaper as i have heard it would cost you R200 000 to move off the grid which is completly beyond most of us

  • jakes.cakedregs - 2012-07-20 03:47

    Power pools! There is an Afrikaans proverb that applies to the Minister: Sy het die klok hoor lui, maar sy weet nie waar die bel hang nie.

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