MORE Power Pontifications, CAPE TOWN SPLITS and RED ONE

AMAZING to see wealthy property owners in Cape Town brandishing their colonial cudgels at the new enemy — “Eskom” and the old foe “black majority government” while the city still searches for a mayor that isn’t wearing nappies, or carrying a whip like a librarian. Truth is, whatever the major parties tell you, the energy sector was deregulated last year so that locals could share in the wealth created from redistribution of power.

Have we forgotten that the city no longer buys power from Eskom, but is serviced by REDS Regional Electricity Distributors (REDs).

One could be forgiven for thinking this is all just a commie plan to take over local government, but REDs have started a revolution, by replacing Eskom and municipalities in the provision of electricity to households and businesses.Unfortunately somebody wasn’t watching when Eskom pulled the plug and the lights went out.

Or perhaps, RED 1, run by former city manager Saleem Mowzer, just wasn’t online? Apparently six REDs were established, with the first RED in Cape Town as the anchor, launched on July 4 last year. The theory is that with Eskom out of the way, decentralised energy resources would become more cost effective and prone to utilising renewable power (not fossil fuels or gas!).

At least that was the idea until the opposition started with a bit of “sabotage” of their own, with the local ANC government caught in a precarious position and a conflict between Eskom and Red 1 which seems to have emerged — an opportunity perhaps for local householders to forge an alliance and to start generating their own surplus power for resale back to the city?

Anything but a split cabinet and hung mayoral office as the city melts down.

Judging by the amount of generators bought by hysterical voters
over the election, and the prevailing wisdom of survival of the fittest, every household could end up with its very own power unit unless of cause the ACDP takes control and starts burning crosses for fuel.

Why not try modern fuel cell technology and a compromise position that deploys hydrogen to generate clean electricity? All very well, since this was Eskom’s plan all along, except for the fact that they backed the wrong horse and now those horrible mini-koebergs have been given half a billion rand by Trevor Manual, for what is essentially an outdated, outmoded, and unsafe system, that can never work.

Think about it, nuclear power more ubiquitous than the toaster or microwave oven? Surely not, go figure the health costs from Uranium mining alone, which will match the Asbestos industry in terms of law suits and then those minor accidents with spanners and the occassional act of sabotage and Trevor looks a bit like DR Strangelove.

That R500 000 000 which would have solved South Africa’s energy crisis on a local government level, instead, its just a drop in the ocean as far as the nuclear industry is concerned, regionally.

Time then, to shut down the Cold War Koeberg Plant once and for all, along with the Mini-Koeberg “pebble-bed” programme, and to get the city back on track before we all split into a hung down the middle, drawn and quartered city and have to live with an unworkable mandate and call for a re-vote. Another municipal election anybody?


  1. I preferred the solar tower idea that you forgot to mention.

  2. Your last paragraph doesn’t seem rational. Assuming you close Koeberg what are you going to do for electricity while you are developing the technology for fuel cells?

  3. The technology just needs to be rolled out and was covered in an M& G story last year. Look it up on the net! In order of preference, here are the technologies we need to be plugging

    1. Hydrogen Fuel Cell

    2. Geothermal Energy

    3. Kinetic Wave Energy

    4. Solar Energy

    5. Wind Energy


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