Articles, News & Events

Civil Society prepares for NERSA Hearings – Informative documents

The Smart Electricity Workshops

Civil society, NGO’s and CBO’s attended workshops in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg to assist in preparation for the NERSA hearings which will be held countrywide.

See relevant and informative documents below for your information.

Energy Policy Timeline

MYPD Cape Town workshop preparation for NERSA

MYPD3 submission – EGI-SA Nov2012

Preparation for NERSA DBN workshop

Smart Demand

Submission to NERSA from SAFCEI

What is ESKOM asking for?








Articles, News & Events


The National Electricity Regulator of SA (NERSA) is due to hold public hearings on Eskom’s appeal for a rise in electricity prices that could see current consumer tariffs escalate with over a 100% in the next three years.

With domestic consumers and especially the poor already buckling under recent increases, it is imperative that we highlight alternatives, particularly the Smart Electricity Scenario being developed by the Electricity Governance Initiative (EIG-SA).

NERSA’s countrywide provincial hearings will kick off on

15 January 2013 in Cape Town.

The meeting will hear presentations on the preliminary findings of the Smart Electricity Scenario, which we believe can meet our electricity demand through saving electricity, and over time, replacing our current coal and nuclear power stations with renewable energy. The plan is also aimed at advancing a Just Transition to a new energy future, in the process creating sustainable jobs and improving the living conditions and opportunities of the poor – all at a lower cost to the fiscus and the environment than the government’s official electricity plan (Integrated Resource Plan 2010) is projected to cost.

The smart electricity plan was drafted by a collective of organisations who are all part of the Electricity Governance initiative (EIG-SA).  SAFCEI is part of this collective, as is project90x2030, Gender CC, and The Green Connection.

Workshops will be held in:

Durban on 10 January 2013

Cape Town on 11 January 2013

Johannesburg on 21 January 2013

If you are interested in attending, please contact Roshan –

Spaces are limited so respond now!


Articles, News & Events, Programmes


Thursday 23rd August saw more than 40 people sharing ideas and strategies about electricity pricing and the governance of the electricity prices.

The workshop focused on the following:  Do you wonder why our electricity prices are rising so steeply? Do we need all these power stations and gridlines we hear about on tv and in newspapers? Do we have to have nuclear and fracking? And does it have to cost so much?  Is it possible to supply our electricity in a more affordable way? Does Eskom have any other option?

How do issues like corruption, lack of information, and lack of skilled people impact on electricity prices? Is there anything we can do about it?

Facilitator, Liz McDaid, emphasised that citizens need to understand the democratic government structures and how to engage in order to raise our issues, even though public participation opportunities are not offered pro-actively.  However, voices from the floor pointed out that raising our voices does not always mean that they are heard, and most people did not know how to find information on how to participate. There was general agreement that the information gained in the workshop needs to reach more people.

Participants from the workshop identified a number of follow up actions that they would take forward after the workshop.

EGI report – Atlantis workshop October 2012

Workshop Resources

A threat to good governance in SA- article March 2012

EGI briefing – REBID summary for workhops including appendix table

Electricity and Public Interest 10Qs draft 20th August 2012

MYPD process

How does buying renewable energy lead to higher or lower prices



Articles, News & Events, Programmes

Comparison of governance processes for incorporating public comment into electricity governance.

Renewable Energy is a new concept for South African decision-makers. While renewable energy is gaining its share of the world’s energy mix, South Africa has been very slow to follow this trend…….

In order to strengthen the democratic processes of public engagement in parliament, increased resources need to be made available to build capacity of both parliamentarians and research staff. Such capacity should not duplicate knowledge and expertise available in civil society but be used to meaningfully engage with such local knowledge in order to strengthen transparent and effective decision-making”.

Liz McDaid, The Green Connection

EGI Policy brief:

Benchmarking best practice and promoting accountability in the electricity sector: A comparison of processes for incorporating public comment into electricity governance.


Articles, News & Events

What are the implications of the South African Industrial Biofuel Strategy for land, women and the poor in South African rural communities?

Green Connection was contracted by SPP and Oxfam to investigate and produce a report on the potential impacts of biofuels on the poor rural communities of the former homelands. This was a project lasting several months, from end of 2010 to May 2011. The project included a field trip to the Eastern Cape.

Biofuel production has potential social, environmental and energy impacts and thus any government policy specifically targeting rural communities in biofuel development needs to consider and address these in order for biofuel development to be founded on sustainability principles.

The onus of this report was firstly to review the literature on biofuels and assess in a global context how biofuels contribute to energy, social welfare and environmental sustainability.

Secondly, an understanding of the current context in South Africa was developed, in ecological, social and economical terms, to determine whether the goals and associated outcomes of the South African Industrial Biofuel Strategy’s focus in South Africa would result in sustainable and equitable benefits of biofuel production for rural communities, particularly women and the very poor.

Thirdly, there was also concern that biofuel policies have led to “land grabs” in Africa, resulting in the loss of livelihoods and resources for poor communities in Africa (Aarts 2009). This study thus undertook to examine in closer detail whether biofuels development, as expressed in the South African Industrial Biofuel Strategy and in the current socio-economic and policy climate, would lead to an effective “land grab” situation. In this case, the “land grab” would not necessarily be through illegal expropriation of land, but might result through inadequate protection of disempowered rural communities’ land resources into the future. The political history and environment of South Africa therefore has bearing on many aspects of biofuel development, including land tenure, economic policies and governance.

According to the Biofuel Feasibility Report (2006), due to South Africa’s relatively high liquid fuels consumption and relatively low agricultural capability (as regards arable land and water), biofuels can only make a small impact on supply security, and replacing the traditional community practice of low input- low risk farming with high input- high risk agricultural systems is often unaffordable and unsustainable. Ultimately biofuels per se is not the global solution to the oil crisis and using annual commercial food crops to replace fossil fuels can only be a short-term, limited solution, given the high fuel demand growth of the world.

As it stands, the South African Biofuel Strategy will have mostly negative impacts for rural communities and women in particular. As the Biofuel Strategy is based on an industrial scale and targets rural communities in the homelands to produce feedstock in order to facilitate both rural development and biofuel development, it is founded on an unsustainable agricultural model in a context of poor tenure security, limited capacity, inadequate markets and infrastructure, and ineffective governance. The interplay of these factors leads to negative repercussions for communities.

The industrial biofuel vision encompassed in the Biofuel Strategy is not based on environmental or economic sustainability:

  • ecological sustainability will be impacted, in terms of water, soil, biodiversity and GM crops
  • social sustainability will be lost as women and the poor will be disproportionately impacted by the costs of modernized agriculture on their rights and livelihoods
  • financially the Biofuel Strategy is based on inadequate subsidies for producers, ineffective governance and as the use of foreign investment and commercial contractors is prioritized, there will be little long term commitment to sustainability