The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) notes with interest Minister Joemat-Pettersson’s indications earlier this week that an updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) on Energy is due to be presented to Cabinet – after which it will also be released for public comment.
“An updated IRP is extremely welcome as the current plan is long overdue,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s Chairperson. “The IRP currently being used for projections – including motivation for the proposed nuclear deal – is dated 2010.”
According to the National Energy Act No 34 of 2008 the Minister is required to update the IRP annually, as all energy planning for South Africa should be based on up to date supply and demand of energy needs amongst other matters, such as the cost and availability of various energy resources.
It is thus OUTA’s opinion that Minister Joemat-Pettersson has been remiss in her role and responsibility to the nation by not ensuring that this important energy requirement and resource planning document, has been updated annually during her tenure until now.
“It is OUTA’s opinion and that of many thought leaders that any decision to advance or propose a new energy build program, be it coal, nuclear, or renewable energy sources, would be remiss in the absence of an up to date IRP. It is also critical that the IRP should be compiled with credibility and should be subjected to input scrutiny of pertinent stakeholders, including civil society, energy thought leaders and the public.”
Duvenage says using the outdated 2010 IRP means that projections on future energy demand have been wrong. “In the last few years, there also has been a vast reduction in the cost of some energy sources, especially renewables. This means that the future landscape of South Africa’s energy sources and solutions have changed dramatically.”
OUTA will ensure that that the imminent IRP mentioned by the Minister receives the public attention it requires and that Government conducts a meaningful public engagement process on this important matter. Until all these processes have been completed, the nuclear project and procurement should not be allowed to proceed.