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Editorial Insight

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Full transparency
1st March 2024 By: Terence Creamer

The decision to drawdown R150-billion from the Gold and Foreign Exchange Contingency Reserve Account (GFECRA) to reduce government borrowings and surging debt-servicing costs was the major feature... 


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Crunch time
23rd February 2024 By: Terence Creamer

The consequences of policy failure in electricity are so obvious there is no need to ventilate them again. Not so for gas, however, given that they are only visible to those manufacturers that have... 


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Reform momentum
16th February 2024 By: Terence Creamer

From an economic perspective, the most important signal provided by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address was that the reform agenda remains in place, and that it will be... 


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Worrying outlier
9th February 2024 By: Terence Creamer

The International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) most recent report on the electricity sector includes a troubling section on Africa’s recent underperformance in this regard. In the section, the authors... 


Grid unlocked
Grid unlocked
2nd February 2024 By: Terence Creamer

As the South African government seeks to re-establish some momentum behind the public procurement of new independent power producer (IPP) generation and storage, much focus will be on how bidders... 


Big procurement year
Big procurement year
26th January 2024 By: Terence Creamer

The coming year is poised to be the most active ever for the public procurement of new electricity generation capacity. Besides shepherding the already-procured projects to financial close –... 


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Gas lock-in
19th January 2024 By: Terence Creamer

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail,” the quote, attributed to Benjamin Franklin, reads. What happens, however, when your plan is a failure? The misnamed draft Integrated Resource Plan... 


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No seamless extension
15th December 2023 By: Terence Creamer

The Koeberg saga, much like South Africa’s ongoing efforts to tackle loadshedding decisively, hardly ever fails to disappoint. Having missed deadline after deadline, Africa’s only nuclear power... 


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No love, but some sympathy
8th December 2023 By: Terence Creamer

There is not much love for ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA). The near-monopoly business is seen as over-protected, and under responsive by many of its customers. Many questions have been raised... 


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Green growth and jobs
1st December 2023 By: Terence Creamer

Transitioning South Africa’s energy ecosystem from its current over-reliance on coal to one progressively based on the country’s natural advantages of abundant sun, wind and land will take decades.... 


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Light from the tunnel?
24th November 2023 By: Terence Creamer

Reform progress in South Africa rarely moves in a straight line from A to B, with the stop/start nature of the country’s electricity reform being a case in point. Nevertheless, there is a... 


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Language of incumbency
17th November 2023 By: Terence Creamer

Two recent Eskom publications are heavily laden with the language of incumbency, which continues to go unchecked by a policymaker distracted by realpolitik rather than real solutions. The first is... 


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End of the beginning
10th November 2023 By: Terence Creamer

News that 67 municipalities that collectively owe Eskom R56.8-billion, or 97% of the municipal arrear debt of R58.5-billion owed to the utility at the end of March, have formally applied to... 


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Power in policy
3rd November 2023 By: Terence Creamer

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has never disguised the fact that he believes that Eskom could be turned around and loadshedding ended if he was made the shareholder-minister... 


Win-win solution
27th October 2023 By: Terence Creamer

As outlined previously in this column, it makes sense to place exports at the heart of South Africa’s upcoming Green Hydrogen Commercialisation Strategy, despite misplaced concern that this... 


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Still no solution
20th October 2023 By: Terence Creamer

For decades now, the issue of the debt owed by municipalities to Eskom has not only remained an intractable problem but one that has grown in both scale and in its potential to create financial... 


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Why export?
13th October 2023 By: Terence Creamer

When the topic of green hydrogen arises in South Africa, two concerns are commonly raised, and these will remain significant issues to address should South Africa eventually begin to develop the... 


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Noxious trade-offs
6th October 2023 By: Terence Creamer

The decision by Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy to uphold a decision of the National Air Quality Officer (NAQO) to permit the Kusile power station to postpone its... 


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Solutions vs problems
29th September 2023 By: Terence Creamer

There are many differences between Australia and South Africa, and these should not be dismissed or diminished. However, there are also several similarities, particularly when it comes to natural... 


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Party pooper
22nd September 2023 By: Terence Creamer

As D-Day for the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) approaches, it is evident that the National Treasury will need to go against the political grain if it is to achieve its objective of... 


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Debt derailment?
15th September 2023 By: Terence Creamer

As with so much else in South Africa currently, the indication given by new Transnet chairperson Andile Sangqu that the State-owned freight logistics group may require an equity injection is... 


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Here we go?
8th September 2023 By: Terence Creamer

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has confirmed that he aims to secure Cabinet approval to publish an updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for public consultation during a... 


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Laggard costs
1st September 2023 By: Terence Creamer

The cost of failing to keep pace with what is required economically and environmentally for energy sustainability should surely now be plain for all to see. Besides the fiscal costs associated with... 


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Ongoing distortions
25th August 2023 By: Terence Creamer

As has been highlighted in this column previously, South Africa’s energy transition has become a highly contested topic and is, thus, a hotbed for the spreading of misinformation and ‘fake news’.... 


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Weakest link
18th August 2023 By: Terence Creamer

The attention being paid to the national electricity crisis appears to be yielding some results, albeit insufficient in speed and scale to fully address the crisis. As the one-year update on the... 


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Where’s the urgency?
11th August 2023 By: Terence Creamer

The Energy Regulator’s decision to transfer the transmission facilities licence to the National Transmission Company South Africa (NTC) is indeed a “milestone”, as was highlighted by the National... 


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Post-truth energy politics
4th August 2023 By: Terence Creamer

In any healthy democracy, debate is not only vital but should be encouraged. However, a healthy democracy also requires that the contestation of ideas must be based on a common set of agreed facts,... 


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Renewables rhythm
28th July 2023 By: Terence Creamer

Once lauded as an international benchmark, South Africa’s Renewable Energy independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has struggled to rediscover its rhythm after being disrupted... 


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Time to act
21st July 2023 By: Terence Creamer

Three recent international publications have underlined just how urgent it is for South Africa to respond to the challenges and opportunities being presented by the strong growth in demand for... 


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Shift in focus
14th July 2023 By: Terence Creamer

While it is far too early to declare victory over loadshedding, with many perils still to overcome across many fronts, Electricity Minister Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa is correct in wanting to shift... 


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Help or hindrance?
7th July 2023 By: Terence Creamer

It’s far from ideal that several of South Africa’s main micro-economic problems are being managed by crisis committees made up of government officials, business representatives and consultants.... 


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Least-cost foundation
30th June 2023 By: Terence Creamer

There is no question that South Africa truly does need to update its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), with the demand, supply and technology cost assumptions in the prevailing 2019 edition having... 


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Explaining is losing
23rd June 2023 By: Terence Creamer

The hackneyed political phrase ‘if you're explaining, you're losing’, probably best describes the predicament in which the South African government finds itself currently on a range of topics. The... 


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