President Jacob Zuma: Launch of The Presidency Energy Saving Campaign

13 Mar 2015

The Deputy President of the Republic,
Minister Jeff Radebe, Minister Thulas Nxesi,
Deputy Minister Manamela,
The Director General and senior management,
The Chairperson and members of the National Orders Advisory Committee,
The Chairperson and members of the Audit Committee,
Presidency staff and invited guests,

I greet you all.

It is a great pleasure for us to join you today to launch the energy saving campaign of the Presidency and government as a whole.

We have come together because of the energy shortage challenge that the country faces currently.

The success in bringing light and joy to almost 6 million previously excluded households in townships and rural areas across our country, through a glorious and successful Eskom electrification programme was achieved by tapping into the artificial electricity reserve that we inherited in 1994. 

The economy has also expanded, drawing on the limited energy resources.

As a result, we are constantly affected by load shedding, while major consumers of energy are subjected to reduced access to electricity and energy supply. 

The lack of energy supply and reserves has definitely been central to the suppressed economic growth.

We live with a situation where Eskom is constantly having parts of its fleet off-line on either scheduled or forced maintenance. 

We have no more reserve generation capacity and unfortunately we have also not given sufficient and timeous attention to refurbishing and/or replacing the aged fleet of electricity generating power stations.

Government has identified energy security as the single most important challenge that must be prioritised and addressed effectively to jump-start our economy. 

Cabinet instituted an urgent intervention, hence the establishment of a Cabinet war room and a programme led by the Deputy President of the Republic.

Our work is ongoing and progressing well. We have a good plan. In the State of the Nation Address, I announced our short, medium and long term response.

Our response involves focusing on improving the maintenance of Eskom power stations in order to improve the generation capacity and secondly to finalise our long term energy security master plan.

In the long term, we are looking to develop a sustainable energy mix which includes electricity, liquid fuels, coal, wind, hydro, nuclear, solar and gas.

Some progress is being made.

For example, as part of the Renewable Energy generation programme launched by Department of Energy in 2011, thirty two (32) renewable power facilities are currently in operation, which are delivering more than 1500 megawatts into the national grid.

Our energy power stations build programme is also progressing, and Eskom is aware of the energy and the need to ensure no further delays.

While government will play its role, every single individual must also contribute to the energy saving programme.

It is for this reason that today we are launching this campaign to save energy.

The Department of Public Works has been tasked with ensuring that all government buildings become energy efficient spaces.

It would not be correct for government to keep telling the private sector what to do to save energy while we ourselves continue with bad energy efficiency practices in government or public buildings.

The Department of Public Works is already doing a lot to take forward the campaign to green government buildings through the Green Building Programme.

In addition, the Department of Energy has just concluded the Energy and Climate Change Strategy for the Public Buildings Sector, which is to be tabled for Cabinet consideration.

These programmes demonstrate government's seriousness with regards to reducing demand while expanding our energy sources to deal with the current shortages.

As you are aware, the Department of Public Works has already begun improving the energy efficiency measures here at the Union Buildings.

Some of the projects include the installation of lighting retrofits which entails the replacement of old technologies light fittings with new energy efficient fittings.

It also includes the installation of motion sensors - which is equipment that detects movement in the office and switches off the lights automatically where there is nobody in the office.

The estimated savings from the new energy efficient light and sensor project is estimated at three hundred and thirty thousand four hundred and thirty two (330 432) kilowatts per hour.

Energy savings from the new solar panels is estimated at three hundred and ninety thousand (390 000) kilowatts per hour.

There will be more as the programme progresses.

To take this good work forward, we are asking you and indeed all in the country, to do simple things which will make a huge difference.

We are talking about simple efforts such as switching off the lights and plugs when we leave the office and also to be equally vigilant at home.

We also reiterate the message for households to begin to shift energy sources from over-reliance on electricity for cooking or heating to gas and renewable energy.

We urge the private sector to also engage in energy saving drives.

To encourage private sector energy saving mechanisms, government is looking to increase the energy efficiency incentives on offer.

The current tax rebate scheme on offer to companies will be extended.

Proposals will be published for public comment later this year.

The Government is also working to transform the domestic electric appliance market as part of promoting energy saving.

According to the National Regulations for Compulsory Specifications Act of 2008, the domestic electrical appliance industry is required by law to be more energy efficient in their production processes.

They are expected to use energy and environmentally friendly components. This applies to imported as well as to domestic manufacturers, which will need to be labelled.

I therefore urge you to begin thinking about green procurement or even green IT through buying energy efficient appliances for use at work or at home, from kettles, refrigerators to stoves and computers.

Let us remember that all energy saving measures, no matter how small they may seem, will contribute significantly in energy savings.

Siyanihalalisela ngokuqala lomkhankaso obalulekile wokonga ugesi la ehovisi likaMongameli.

Uma sonke sibambisene songa ugesi emsebenzini nasemakhaya, sizokwenza omkhulu umehluko, sinciphise isidingo sokuphucwa ugesi okwenziwa u-Eskom, phecelezi i -load-shedding.

Siyanigqugquzela impela ukuthi lomkhankaso uqhubekele phambili.

I expect to receive a report on how the Presidency is performing on energy saving before the end of this financial year.

Ladies and gentlemen

It is my pleasure to officially launch the Presidency and Government Energy Saving Campaign.

I thank You.

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