Will this be the year the South African government prioritises clean, renewable energy over dirty coal to keep the country running?
If you’re on Twitter, you might have seen the persistent back-and-forth on whether NERSA (National Energy Regulator of South Africa) should approve Eskom’s request to increase the electricity price by 32%. Unfortunately, NERSA did approve, but by 18% for the next two years, which is still a significant increase. 
Greenpeace Africa Climate and Energy Campaigner Nhlanhla Sibisi said: “A just transition to renewable energy is the best and most immediate solution to South Africa’s energy crisis. It is cheap, quick to bring online, can help solve the youth unemployment crisis , has none of the toxic health impacts of dirty coal, and won’t force South Africans to pay for Eskom’s history of corruption and mismanagement.” 
You would think it makes sense for load shedding (power outages) to come with winter because heaters are on, and geysers are warming the water more than usual. South Africa is seeing temperatures reaching 32 degrees this month, and still, people in the country are going without electricity for over 10 hours a day. Energy experts are warning the country to anticipate load shedding (power outages) to increase to stage 8 – that’s 12 – 14 hours daily with no electricity. 
We’ve all been deeply affected by load shedding, one way or another, especially financially.  Think about it – between the cellphone towers shutting down during long stretches of load shedding, food going to waste, being forced to run to your local coffee shop to work, to finding alternative and expensive power solutions for your home or business to keep running.
Meanwhile, the South African government is sending mixed signals. The power utility, Eskom, has said load shedding will be implemented indefinitely for the next two years.  But the Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana, said, “Eventually, in the next 12 – 18 months, we will be able to say load-shedding is a thing of the past,” at the World Economic Forum gathering in Davos, Switzerland. 
In 2015, President Ramaphosa pleaded for us to be patient because “we are already building power stations, and one of them has already gone live, and in another 18 months to two years, you will forget the challenges we had in relation to power or energy and Eskom ever existed.” 
And yet, here we are, with a staggering 753% electricity cost increase over the past ten years.
We need an ambitious plan to prioritise the lives of our people instead of paying for the consequences of corrupt decisions and bad leadership.
Will you sign the petition to help us pressure the government to shift their reliance on coal to renewable energy and end load shedding?
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- Stage 2 and 3 load-shedding to become a permanent fixture for next 2 years, says Eskom
- Davos 2023: SA plans to end load-shedding in 12-18 months, says Godongwana
- Ramaphosa’s promise in 2015