10 years ago

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - OPINION -

THE R52 MIL­LION Big Hole pro­ject is ex­pected not only to at­tract in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal tourists but will also sus­tain towns af­fected by the clo­sure of mines and cre­ate jobs. The pro­ject was born out of a part­ner­ship be­tween De Beers, the North­ern Cape gov­ern­ment, the Sol Plaatje Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, the Frances Baard District Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, North­ern Cape Tourism and the pri­vate sec­tor

THE 16 DAYS of Ac­tivism for No Vi­o­lence Against Women and Chil­dren has started, but there have al­ready been so many in­ci­dents of vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren.

I re­mem­ber many, many years ago sit­ting at a press con­fer­ence with the late Winkie Direko at the launch of this very cam­paign.

I re­mem­ber ask­ing her if this was not just an­other cam­paign where the talk was louder than ac­tions. Her an­swer to me, “Stop be­ing pes­simistic. We are all in this to­gether. It WILL make a dif­fer­ence.”

Sadly, Ma Winkie it doesn’t seem like it has had any im­pact over the years.

Some years it is worse than oth­ers, but it def­i­nitely has not got any bet­ter. A bunch of money is thrown at the cam­paign, the me­dia gets in­volved, but our sis­ters and ba­bies are con­tin­u­ally get­ting butchered un­abated.

I don’t know if throw­ing money at it ac­tu­ally helps. In­stead of us­ing that money to have a song and dance at some ob­scure sta­dium, rather put it in ac­tual pro­grammes that can help stop the abuse and killings. Although I doubt very much how much that is ac­tu­ally go­ing to help as well.

In nu­mer­ous cases women and chil­dren are of­ten abused be­hind closed doors where the po­lice don’t have a reach. In some in­stances women are to­tally cut off from reach­ing out for help by their abu­sive part­ners.

One case of se­vere abuse which re­ally hit me was the man ac­cused of dous­ing his girl­friend with petrol and burn­ing her to death af­ter the woman al­legedly greeted her ex-boyfriend.

He has with­drawn his bail ap­pli­ca­tion and will re­main in cus­tody un­til his case con­cludes.

Mpho Thobane is now fac­ing charges of ar­son and pre­med­i­tated mur­der for the bru­tal killing of 32-year-old Viwe Dalin­gozi.

It is al­leged Thobane car­ried out the grue­some mur­der of Dalin­gozi in­side their Joburg apart­ment af­ter an ap­par­ent ar­gu­ment re­gard­ing the de­ceased greet­ing her ex-boyfriend.

Thobane is said to have waited for Dalin­gozi to fall asleep be­fore al­legedly car­ry­ing out the shock­ing crime.

Dalin­gozi suc­cumbed to her in­juries in hos­pi­tal later that day.

There are hun­dreds of other cases.

Right here on our own doorstep, a Kim­ber­ley man, who was al­ready ap­par­ently out on pa­role for rape and mur­der, ap­peared in court on charges of stab­bing his for­mer girl­friend to death.

Mona Mak­lein died af­ter she was stabbed twice in the heart, six times in her back and mul­ti­ple times through her fingers.

It is be­lieved Mona was first held hostage be­fore she was stabbed to death.

Then an­other blamed “anger” and “ne­glect” for gun­ning down his ex-girl­friend.

Ty­rone Pil­lay, who was con­victed of gun­ning down his ex-girl­friend, An­ne­lene Pil­lay, has been sen­tenced to 25 years im­pris­on­ment by the Dur­ban High Court.

A video cap­tured on CCTV of 26-year-old An­ne­lene be­ing shot by Ty­rone as she ex­ited her work­place on South Coast Road in Novem­ber 2016 went vi­ral on so­cial me­dia.

Ty­rone, 33, who told the court that he had a 10-year re­la­tion­ship with An­ne­lene, pleaded guilty and said his ac­tions were the re­sult of anger and a feel­ing of ne­glect af­ter she stopped tak­ing his calls and ig­nored him.

He said he had heard through some­one else that An­ne­lene had moved on ro­man­ti­cally which an­gered him.

He said in his guilty plea that he tried to com­mu­ni­cate with her sev­eral times and tried to meet her in an at­tempt to get back to­gether but she would not take his calls.

He said when all had failed he de­cided to track her car and traced her to her work­place.

He said he drove there and waited for her to come out of the build­ing and fired two shots at her. She died on the scene.

This is just three of many cases in which the woman might have had a fight­ing chance if money wasn’t thrown into the wa­ter for some song and dance af­fair. THE FURORE around the in­de­pen­dent power pro­duc­ers (IPPs) and sub­se­quent op­po­si­tion and marches by some NGOs and the trade unions need to be put into con­text and in­ter­ro­gated.

The role of IPPs as part of the re­new­able en­ergy mix needs to be dis­cussed. The de­bate should be within the con­text of the coun­try ex­plor­ing other in­no­va­tive sources of en­ergy that will mit­i­gate the cur­rent short­fall of the sup­ply of en­ergy. With the coal stock­pile run­ning low and the rainy sea­son upon us, the de­bate is more ur­gent than ever.

One needs to ask a fun­da­men­tal ques­tion: Where are we go­ing to get re­li­able and cost-ef­fec­tive en­ergy that will ig­nite and pro­pel our econ­omy? The sup­ply of re­li­able en­ergy and eco­nomic growth are in­sep­a­ra­ble.

Our econ­omy has been stag­nant over the past 10 years. One key rea­son is the lack of re­li­able en­ergy sup­ply to our house­holds and to the in­dus­tries that are sup­posed to per­form op­ti­mally and prof­itably to cre­ate jobs and con­trib­ute to eco­nomic growth.

Fail­ure to have a re­li­able en­ergy sup­ply will im­pact neg­a­tively on Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa’s cru­sade to get $100bil­lion (R1.3 tril­lion) into our coun­try’s econ­omy within five years to kick-start vi­tal eco­nomic growth.

The White Pa­per on Re­new­able En­ergy Mix Strat­egy was adopted by our gov­ern­ment in 2003. Key aims are:

En­sure that an eq­ui­table level of na­tional re­sources were in­vested in re­new­able tech­nol­ogy.

Di­rect pub­lic re­sources to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of re­new­able en­ergy tech­nolo­gies.

In­tro­duce suitable fis­cal in­cen­tives for re­new­able en­ergy.

Cre­ate an in­vest­ment cli­mate for the de­vel­op­ment of the re­new­able en­ergy sec­tor.

Since then there has been de­bate from NGOs, and in par­tic­u­lar the trade unions, about whether it is nec­es­sary for the coun­try to en­gage in such projects.

The in­tro­duc­tion of IPPs is in line with the dic­tates of the In­te­grated Re­source Plan that is driven through the De­part­ment of En­ergy.

The IPPs form part of gov­ern­ment ef­forts to curb car­bon-based emis­sions, which are harm­ful to the health of our peo­ple and pose se­ri­ous cli­mate change risks.

For many years – a fact not widely known – Eskom has had an IPP agree­ment, nor­mally re­ferred to as a power pur­chase agree­ment, with Ca­hora Bassa, a hy­dro­elec­tric in­stal­la­tion in Mozam­bique. Eskom has had over 10 sim­i­lar agree­ments in place since 2010.

On the is­sue of the cost, it must be noted that cur­rent IPP costs av­er­age about R2/kWh, re­cov­er­able in full in line with the Na­tional En­ergy Reg­u­la­tor’s reg­u­la­tory frame­work.

The down­side is that Eskom pays this cost al­most up­front, and this is hurt­ing Eskom, due to fail­ure to col­lect debt from mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties who owe bil­lions of rand through non-pay­ments.

This is an is­sue be­yond Eskom. It will re­quire our col­lec­tive re­solve and po­lit­i­cal will to deal with the cul­ture of non-pay­ment by res­i­dents of most of our mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

Ob­jec­tively, IPPs are good for the coun­try, as they pro­vide what can be de­scribed as clean en­ergy. This is vi­tal in light of in­creas­ing tem­per­a­ture around the globe. IPPs cur­rently con­trib­ute about 4000MW to the grid, while Eskom’s ca­pac­ity is around 45 000MW. So the ar­gu­ment that IPPs will de­stroy jobs on a mas­sive scale can­not be sus­tained. Coal will still con­trib­ute over 35 000MW to the grid, and will con­tinue to dom­i­nate the en­ergy mix for the fore­see­able fu­ture.

Mafika Siphiwe Mgcina is a mem­ber of the ANC cau­cus, Gaut­eng Leg­is­la­ture. He writes in his per­sonal ca­pac­ity.

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