An energy-saving campaign was launched on Friday in South Africa hard hit by a worsening energy shortage.
South Africans are constantly affected by load shedding, while major consumers of energy are subjected to reduced access to electricity and energy supply, South African President Jacob Zuma said at the launch ceremony in Pretoria.
“The lack of energy supply and reserves has definitely been central to the suppressed economic growth,” Zuma said.
South Africa has been hit by constant rolling blackouts since November last year following the collapse of a series of outdated power stations in the country’s largest power utility Eskom.
“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,” Zuma said.
The government has identified energy security as the single most important challenge that must be prioritized and addressed effectively to jump-start the economy.
The cabinet instituted an urgent intervention, hence the establishment of a cabinet war room and a programme led by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“Our work is ongoing and progressing well,” Zuma said. “Our response involves focusing on improving the maintenance of Eskom power stations in order to improve the generation capacity and secondly to finalize our long term energy security master plan.”
A program to build energy power stations is also progressing, and Eskom is aware of the energy and the need to ensure no further delays, said Zuma.
He urged every single individual also to contribute to the energy saving program while the government plays its role.
“It is for this reason that today we are launching this campaign to save energy,” Zuma said.
The Department of Public Works has been tasked with ensuring that all government buildings become energy efficient spaces, according to Zuma.
“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,” Zuma said.
One of the energy-saving measures is the installation of motion sensors which 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 330,432 kilowatts per hour.
“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,” Zuma said.
“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.”
Zuma reiterated the message for households to begin to shift energy sources from over-reliance on electricity for cooking or heating to gas and renewable energy.
Zuma urged the private sector to also engage in energy saving drives. Enditem