LETTER: Neighbours not a dump
Dr Makgetla is wrong to suggest that Eskom should be exporting surplus power to the region ‘to promote a stronger regional grid’
Neva Makgetla is right about future electricity consumption in SA (Eskom cannot try to turn back the clock, May 23). Domestic consumption is unlikely simply to shoot upwards.
Even if there is a platinum boom, new processing technologies will — we are assured by Brian Gilbertson of Pallinghurst Resources — use only 20% of the power needed by existing smelting installations.
But Dr Makgetla is wrong to suggest that Eskom should be exporting surplus power to the region "to promote a stronger regional grid".
Other countries in the region have substantial energy potential, from gas in Mozambique to hydro in Mozambique, Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo. One estimate suggests that our neighbours plan to have about 20,000MW of new generation come on line in the next decade.
We need to stop thinking of Southern Africa as the place where we can profitably dump our surpluses and more about which products and services they can supply to us. That way, we will support their development and that will be good for us all.
Mike MullerSchool of Governance, Wits University