The stage four load-shedding (or, as we should more correctly call it, the rolling blackouts) of the past week has highlighted the fact that our country’s energy security is not just at risk,but is in fact in terminal decline. That public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan has blamed this situation on the loss of 900MW of power from Cahora Bassa in Mozambique is indicative of the over-reliance on foreign sources of power to shore up our failing electricity supply. Energy minister Jeff Radebe has pointed to the yet-to-be completed Grand Inga hydro-electric project as the potential saviour of our future supply, showing that the current government really hasn’t got a clue when it comes to energy security. Grand Inga has been 10 years in construction and we are unlikely to see any power from this source in the next 10. The integrated resource plan (IRP), which determines the mix of electricity supply, is supposed to be reviewed every two years — but the last approved plan dates back to...

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