Western Cape wants to 'break free from Eskom energy stranglehold' - Maimane

2019-03-27 15:29
Mmusi Maimane is seen during the Democratic Alliance (DA) manifesto launch at the Rand Stadium. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)

Mmusi Maimane is seen during the Democratic Alliance (DA) manifesto launch at the Rand Stadium. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)

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DA leader Mmusi Maimane says he will be writing to Energy Minister Jeff Radebe to grant the Western Cape a licence to start importing liquid natural gas (LNG) to run turbine generators in the province.

Maimane says LNG is both a cheaper and cleaner source of energy than having substations run on diesel.

Maimane and Western Cape premier candidate for the DA Alan Winde were speaking outside the Eskom Ankerlig power station in Atlantis, Cape Town, on Wednesday.

"We already have a special economic zone (SEZ) in Saldanha Bay (in the West Coast District Municipality in the Western Cape) that we could import gas through easily and in a sustainable manner, and it comes with a much lower price tag than diesel. We have done the studies and have worked with Transnet on an actionable plan for importation through Saldanha," said Maimane.

He said the only thing that was missing was political will.

Maimane also bemoaned the fact that previous energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson refused to give the province a licence to import LNG.

Maimane also lambasted power utility Eskom for what he called a stifling of innovation and progress in the energy sector.

DA to march to Union Buildings

"Eskom has over R400bn debt, severe diesel and coal undersupply, plant maintenance malfunctioning and a bloated staff contingent. As a province, we must break free from the Eskom stranglehold.

"Political agendas and special interests that dominate ANC energy decision-making cannot hold back progress any longer."

This week, Maimane has been holding back-to-back media briefings on the power crisis.

He has also been vocal about his belief that government should look for alternatives other than coal to produce much-needed power, saying that the DA believes independent power producers (IPPs) and the use of solar or renewable energy are more sustainable than the current electricity model.

The party is planning to march to the Union Buildings on Friday to force President Cyril Ramaphosa to take action on the energy crisis.

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Read more on:    da  |  eskom  |  mmusi mai­mane  |  cape town  |  energy  |  politics
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