A file photo shows the Inga dam in the Congo. Picture: REUTERS
A file photo shows the Inga dam in the Congo. Picture: REUTERS

I couldn’t agree more that “SA is woefully unprepared to grab the opportunities presented by the green energy revolution” “SA Dragging Its Feet On Energy Transition,” (May 9).

SA needs a clear energy policy coupled with a commitment to stable, cheap and plentiful power.

Renewable energy experts from across the globe are clamouring to develop local infrastructure and creating jobs towards a thriving and sustainable local industry. But the bizarre reality is that our energy minister has for years been looking to shift these benefits to other countries, at significant cost to South Africans.

The Inga 3 hydropower mega project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo — Africa’s largest electricity project — is but one example.

In a 2013 treaty, SA agreed to purchase 2,500MW from Inga 3. The University of California has estimated this will cost SA up to R4.3bn annually, depending on our energy needs and cost overruns, which are highly likely.

And that’s excluding the many opportunities for shady deals in a project shrouded in mystery.

The World Bank has already terminated its support, and parliament’s energy committee has recommended that the government does not commit to Inga 3.

The next energy minister should devote his or her energies to stable, sustainable and affordable local power and jobs. We can and must avoid the impending Inga 3 disaster.

Rudo Sanyanga
Africa programme director, International Rivers