The government has also embarked on a number of steps to force South Africa into a gas-dependent energy sector. There are plans for infrastructure and there are plans for domestic gas exploration and extraction. And on top of this, there is also new legislation on the cards to further force gas down South Africa’s throats. In 2001, the gas amendment bill was tabled for parliament to approve. The Green Connection made written submissions and will make a public presentation in November 2021 this will depend on the parliament programme. In 2020, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) with NERSA’s concurrence published a Section 34 determination to procure new electricity generation capacity to meet short-term emergency needs.
The request for proposals (RFP) was issued in August 2020, and the closing date was set for October. At the last minute, the closing date was extended.
The Green Connection has expressed alarm at the manner in which the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPP) was carried out. In the weeks that followed, energy experts in the country expressed concern that these expensive karpowerships were not in South Africa’s best interests. These issues relate to the price of electricity tied to dollar/rand exchange and international price. The climate issue of mooring ships for 20 years.
When it comes to procedure, a number of dots appear to show that this deal is not above board and one of the losing bidders has challenged the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy accusing them of corruption.
The karpowerships were initially granted an exemption under the EIA regulations in December 2020 but the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment intervened and reversed that exception, forcing the karpowerships to undertake an EIA.