Reply by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe on questions posed in National Council of Provinces for oral reply
11 Nov 2010
Question No 21
Mr R A Lees (DA-KZN) to ask the Deputy President:
(1) Whether the Energy Advisory Council has held any meetings during the period 1 January 2009 up to the latest specified date for which information is available; if not, why not; if so, (a) with whom were the meetings held, (b) what subjects were covered in the meetings, (c) what (i) decisions and (ii) recommendations were made at such meetings and (d) who attended the meetings.
(2) whether the Energy Advisory Council has considered the building of any further nuclear power stations; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what conclusions were reached regarding the (a) need, (b) locality, (c) timing and (d) financing by the Energy Advisory Council of the new nuclear power stations?
1. The National Stakeholder Advisory Council on Energy met on 8 December 2009 and on 15 October 2010. Members of the Council are drawn from government, labour, business and civil society organisations, constituted along the same lines as the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) constituencies. At its December 2009 meeting the Council discussed matters concerning the rising cost of electricity and how this affected consumers, especially the poor. It also discussed an innovative funding model for building new power stations.
The Council agreed that while the National Energy Regulator of South Africa is the authority that has the mandate to decide on Eskom's proposed new electricity tariffs, there was a need to devise means to cushion the poor by introducing sloping block tariffs.
The Council also agreed to consider the proposed funding model that was presented by the labour movement.
In the meeting of 15 October 2010 the Council considered a proposal on the Integrated Resource Plan. Some of the stakeholders felt that although they had been given time to consider the proposals on this plan, they still needed more time to consider this given its complexity. Government agreed to this request
The meeting also received a report on the process to create the Independent System and Market Operator in a phased approach to allow independent operators to participate in the generation of electricity. This matter is currently being processed by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Energy.
On the matter of Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management, government indicated that it recognised the need to provide financial incentives to stimulate the energy efficiency program through rebates. The required regulations for accessing these incentives have been drafted and once the concurrence of the Minister of Finance has been obtained, the regulations will be circulated for public comment.
The Council was also keen to have an update regarding the Regional Electricity Distributor program, and whether it would proceed or not. Government indicated that the matter was under consideration at the IMC and that a decision will be announced in due course.
2. Apart from considering the draft Integrated Resource Plan that was presented, the Council did not take any nuclear-specific decisions. The nuclear build programme remains part of our future plans and once all processes have been finalised including consultation with stakeholders we will make a public announcement about the programme.
I thank you.
Source: The Presidency
Issued by: The Presidency
11 Nov 2010
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