Department of Energy briefing

PMG 15 May 2012.

Date of Meeting:

15 May 2012

Chairperson:

Mr F Adams (Western Cape, ANC)

DOE Response to 2012 State of Nation Address and 2012/13 Budget Vote [Email info@pmg.org.za]
Response to Committee questions on Department of Energy revised Strategic Plan[Email info@pmg.org.za]

Summary:

The Committee was briefed on the Department of Energy’s Annual Performance Plan for Programme 3: Electricity, Nuclear and Clean Energy and for its Integrated National Electrification Programme. The six goals of Programme 3 were: universal access and transformation, security of supply, regulation and competition, infrastructure, environmental assets and climate change. Details were given of the sub-programmes: Energy Policy and Planning / Nuclear And Clean Energy. The energy sector’s climate change adaptation and mitigation strategy included analysis of risks associated with climate change response measures, measuring energy related carbon emission reduction, development and implementation of an environmental management plan as well as internal department environmental policy, plus compilation of Annual Compliance reports.

The revised strategic plan of the Integrated National Electrification Programme (INEP) was split into six programmes: Administration, Energy Policy and Planning, Petroleum Regulation, Nuclear Energy, Clean Energy and Programmes and Projects. INEP’s three year grid performance trail outlined the connections done by Eskom and municipalities. A total of 3.4 million households did not have electricity and of this, 1.2 million were in informal settlements. This meant about 12.5 million people did not to have access to modern energy. INEP’s operational budget had been cut by 50% and this was a serious challenge to delivery of connections and the monitoring of delivery during this financial year.

Members asked questions on the agreements and funding arrangements with the Development Bank of Southern Africa and on the effect of the long term tariff trajectory on development. The lack of compliance of municipalities in spending 8% of their electricity tariffs on maintenance and 40% of their capital budget on renewal of infrastructure was raised. What was the opinion of DOE about this? The monitoring and evaluation mechanism of the Department of Energy were also queried. The Committee requested details on municipalities where Department of Energy projects were being piloted and the criteria for the granting of loans to municipalities. Members also asked about studies on Thorium as an alternative for Uranium.
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