Action in energy arena needed

Business Report, Liz McDaid, Robert Fischer, Yvette Abrahams 18 December 2012.

Once the brouhaha around who will lead the ANC for the next five years is out of the way, those at Mangaung this week have a bigger dilemma on their hands.

With rising unemployment, an ever widening gap between rich and poor, and mounting social unrest, the ANC is arguably in one of the toughest spots it has been in since coming to power. It has to act decisively to deliver on its promises of a better life for all or risk losing credibility.

One opportunity for decisive action lies in the energy sector, where many of these challenges converge. Key decisions here will have massive impacts on national debt, social equity and job creation in the years to come, to say nothing of environmental consequences.

Access to modern energy services is considered to be a key aspect for improved economic development and reducing inequality. The many economic and social benefits that accrue to humanity in general and the poor in particular, from access to electricity, for example, are covered by a vast body of respected research…

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