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He has withdrawn his bail application and will remain in custody until his case concludes.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