this article was first published 6 April 2021
ESKOM Management Ushers in the Green New Deal for South Africa
by PD Lawton
André de Ruyter,Group Chief Executive (GCE) of Eskom Holdings, wants to power South Africa with wind and solar. De-carbonizing the economy of this coal rich country is a mutilation of its industrial capacity. In other words, the Ramaphosa administration has mandated the management that they appointed to Eskom, to de-industrialize Africa`s largest economy. While other African countries are trying to go nuclear, Ramaphosa continues to oppose expansion of South Africa`s nuclear industry, while he steers the republic towards the Oligarchy`s Green New Deal.
If he were alive today, Guyanese author, Walter Rodney, would call this neo-colonialism on steroids. He would write a book on the Oligarchy`s Great Reset cum Green New Deal and call it` How Europe Keeps Africa Underdeveloped`.
For a well educated person, Mr de Ruyter is remarkably blinded by glistening solar panels and fails to see that neither wind nor solar can, nor ever will, provide base load for an industrialized economy, no matter the technological advances made in the inordinately costly storage batteries. The only `base load` being provided by renewables is the substantial amount of cash on offer from the IMF for carbon-free enterprise. That begs the question : rather than being involved in a scandal of rascism , is Mr Ruyter involved in a scandal of legalized bribery?
In a recent interview he outlined his policy for South Africa`s power utility with 4 key policy points. These are, according to him, the trendy policies for the `energy revolution`.
1 ) De-carbonization – turning to renewable energy of wind and solar
2) De-centralization – project execution risk for mega projects, i.e the bigger the project, the greater the financial risk, therefore think small and private sector
3) Democratization – consumer choice
4) Digitalization – “a dynamic computer driven ability to optimize and match buyers and sellers on a real time basis”.
This is what his 4 policies really mean for South Africans:
De-carbonization: There is no scientific evidence that carbon dioxide levels correlate with temperature. If someone tells you that there is evidence then they are either misinformed or lying. Carbon dioxide is not toxic nor is it a pollutant.
South Africa has vast natural reserves of coal. It is the 8th richest country in the world in terms of known coal deposits. Technological advancement in the emissions scrubbing process from coal fired power plants now allow for near zero emissions of the real pollutant , sulphur dioxide. China recently co-built the Sahiwal coal fired power plant with the government of Pakistan. It is one of the cleanest in the world and as with all modern Chinese coal plants,far surpasses European and even Japanese emission standards.
De-centralization : is it going to far to say this is an attack on South Africa`s national sovereignty? Surely a centralized energy policy is the backbone of any national development plan? Don`t believe the propoganda and character assassination of South Africa`s power utility and its management under the Zuma government. Eskom, up until 2018 has served the country most commendably given the strangle hold on it by the Oligarchy`s Anglo-Swiss mnc, Glencore. De Ruyter brings up the cases of Kusile and Medupi as examples of mismanagement by the pre-2018 Eskom board when the deliberate sabotage of these projects is known about.
De-centralization is just another term for privatization, like `unbundling`. Since Zuma was forced out of office ( Johann Rupert financed the bribery to vote him out),Eskom has been the target of a conspiracy.
The goal of the conspirators is the privatization of South Africa`s prime national asset. The end-goal is to keep millions of citizens living in informal settelments without access to electricity or productive employment so that under this policy of malthusianism, they will have little chance of aspiring to anything.
Privatized electricity will become so costly that progress, higher living standards and investment in industry will be kept at what the Oligarchy refer to as a `sustainable level.` Sustainable development as meant by the likes of Klaus Schwab and Prince Charles is a policy for depopulation. In other words the Oligarchy want to keep the peasants scratching a living while they continue to live in splendor.
Democratization : this term is misleading. It is not a policy to introduce consumer choice. It is deregulation which is the reduction or elimination of government power in a particular industry. Competition is a good thing but with electricity ? The cards are already rigged in favour of renewables which are only relatively cheap at present because coal and nuclear are subsidizing the cost. Eskom is being used to pay for the installation of infrastructure and equipment of the renewables industry which is already owned by some of the richest individuals in the world.
Digitalization : – electricity demand as part of the speculative casino economy of the stock market which will benefit the banks and billionaires,the speculative economy.
I find Mr de Ruyter`s vision of South Africa`s future alarming. His most chilling statement in this interview is that he cannot promise that load-shedding will be an issue of the past. To quote him:
“But once we have completed this program of Reliability Maintenance, we will be able to significantly reduce but not entirely elliminate it ( load shedding/power cuts), let me stress that, the risk of load shedding, going forward.”
This exercise in self-righteousness on behalf of an environmentalist ideology which is provably based on fake science, is outrageous in a country where over 10 million people live in urban slums without access to electricity or sanitation.On what level of morality does this ideology base itself? The historical equivalent is Germany under Adolph Hitler where `untermensch` were imprisoned in camps and left to die. How can a national energy policy have a proviso for future load shedding if that policy is not aimed at population control as energy consumption correlates with living standards? This is malthusianism to reduce South Africa`s population!
Even if it were the case that the planet is dying due to carbon dioxide levels, which it is not, I would still choose to give every South African a job, every child a meal, every household a constant and cheap supply of electricity before saving exactly what, the weather?
Mr de Ruyter says on the question of the flat lining of economic growth in South Africa over the past few years and whether or not that is related to energy capacity:
“ I am not an economist, so I dont want to make an announcement on that” . You do not have to be an economist to work that out. You do not need a university degree to work that out. What drives production, Mr de Ruyter? What does a steel mill run on? What do factories that produce goods run on? What is the essential ingredient of a productive economy? Could the answer be…..electricity?
In fact in these Orwellian times, it is economists who can be the root of the problem, like many scientists and academia at large, they stick to official dogma or risk losing the research grant or their job. Professor Patrick Bond of Wits University and eminent South African economist, is fond of repeting the bizarre childish mantra” Keep the oil in the soil and the coal in the hole.”
Unfortunately he is in good company with an even more emminent South African economist, Grové Steyn and member of Eskom`s Sustainability Task Team. Steyn was involved in the public awareness campaign used to sabotage the plan for the expansion of the country`s nuclear industry. His economic vision for South Africa is uncannily similar to that of de Reuyter. Steyn says that the future is uncertain and that therefore we must not plan for it.
This is a dark Orwellian crawl into the realms of madness. South Africa under such leadership is losing its position in the world, its hold on reality, and its sense of duty to provide the moral right of every citizen with a dignified standard of living.
De Ruyter derogatorily describes Eskom as having been over the past 98 years, “a monolithic, vertically integrated utility.”
That is precisely how South Africa came to be the southern African mecca for employment and the most industrialized country on the continent.