29 MARCH 2017
HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE STATE’S ELECTRICITY PLAN – 3 DAYS TO DEADLINE
With only 3 days left until the 31 March deadline for public comment on the Department of Energy’s (DoE) Electricity Plan, the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) and their supporters are rallying to make the most of this last week, encouraging citizens to submit their comments about government’s proposed energy plans.
SAFCEI’s Liz McDaid says that she is immensely grateful for the help the organisation continues to receive from their partners, who are playing an active role in bringing the country’s anti-nuclear campaign out into in the public domain.
Says McDaid, “Nuclear energy has long been opposed in SA, but the challenge has been a seemingly lack of relevance in mainstream conversations, particularly at grassroots level. This deal is too important, and all South Africans need to give their input. SAFCEI encourages citizens to oppose government’s electricity plan and the secret R1-trillion deal.”
In a bid to promote and expedite public input, SAFCEI has created a sample letter which details a variety of reasons why the plan should be rejected. This letter is freely available to the public and can be used as a guide when submitting their comments. The public can download a copy from http://safcei.org/ and share it. Or contact SAFCEI on 021-701-8145 or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance in making your comment to the DoE.
With a free, participatory session being held on Wednesday, 29 March from 10:00 – 13:00, the Popular Education Programme (PEP) will help average citizens unpack the nuclear deal and its implications. This will ensure that attendees are better equipped to comment on the plan and will hopefully encourage more community-based anti-nuclear ambassadors, who will share what they have learnt with their families and communities.
In another event on Wednesday evening, anti-nuclear youth activists will hold a ‘Candlelight Cry-Out’ in Delft, to highlight the secret nuclear deal as a key youth issue. SAFCEI ambassador and Right2Know activist, Siphokazi Pangalele says the vigil, which will be held at Delft-South Suburban Sport Complex from 17:30 – 18h30, forms part of a series of events which aims to give a voice to youth on this important issue.
Pangalele says, “The nuclear deal is probably one of the most important challenges facing our youth today, yet the possible ripple-effect that it could cause has been terribly downplayed. We need to think long-term and question ourselves, and government. How will this deal affect the people, the youth especially? Will all South Africans benefit from the deal? What other safer, more affordable options do we have? We need to know more, so that we don’t allow the government to harm our country in the long-term.”
While public comment plays an important role in preventing this potentially catastrophic deal, SAFCEI and Earthlife-Africa Johannesburg (ELA-JHB) hope that justice will prevail in their court case against government – which called for an end to the nuclear deal. The parties argued that government’s failure to follow due process in the decision to expand nuclear, can be seen as ‘unlawful’ and therefore, must be set aside.
For more information on the anti-nuclear campaign and also how the nuclear deal affects South Africans, check out the Facebook page Stop the Secret Nuclear Deal or go to the website http://nuclearcostssa.org/. You can also join the conversation, using the hashtag #StopSecretNukeDeal.
The Department of Energy’s Electricity Plan is now open for public comment, until 31 March 2017. South Africans are urged to take an interest in the plan and the issue of the secret nuclear deal, and make their voices heard. Comments can be sent to the DoE’s Mr Jacob Mbele on IRP.Queries@energy.gov.za.
For more information of the Popular Education Programme’s nuclear education session, contact Kasongo on 064701 9500 or e-mail email@example.com.
For more information on the ‘Candlelight Cry-Out’ Against Government’s Secret R1-Trillion Nuclear Deal happening at Delft-South Suburban Sport Complex (on Main Road), contact Siphokazi Pangalele on 061-946-7147 (also WhatsApp).
Issued by Natasha Adonis on behalf of SAFCEI, R2K and partners. For further information, Natasha Adonis on 0797 999 654 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
PUBLIC COMMENT: SAMPLE LETTER
To: The Department of Energy
Dear Mr Jacob Mbele, Minister Joemat-Pettersen, and the DoE,
RE: Public Comment on the DoE’s Proposed Energy Plan
As a South African citizen, I hereby submit my comments about the Department of Energy’s (DoE) proposed energy/electricity plan – which closes for comment on Friday, 31 March 2017.
The secret nuclear dealings, which could bankrupt the country, are a major concern, and I am disappointed about the unconstitutional way the DoE has acted toward SA citizens during the development of this plan for the following reasons.
It is my duty as a South African citizen, to reject the proposed IRP/IEP because:
|THE CURRENT PLAN IS TOO EXPENSIVE: South Africa can’t afford a R1-trillion nuclear deal. Government should rather look at more affordable and feasible energy options. The plan does not contribute to the empowerment of average citizens and will negatively affect state spending on basic services.|
|WILL LEAD TO MORE GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION: I am concerned that the proposed nuclear deal will lead to more government corruption as it involves so much money. Coupled with secret government deals and too little effort to ensure substantial public participation – this energy plan is a recipe for disaster.|
|THERE ARE SAFER, MORE INCLUSIVE ENERGY OPTIONS AVAILABLE AND BETTER SUITED TO OUR SITUATION: I oppose this plan because I believe that we should rather invest our efforts in developing (and innovating) in Renewable Energy (RE) technology. With the abundant supply of sun, wind and water, SA has the opportunity to develop as a leader in RE. The current proposed plan lacks foresight and vision, and ignores international energy trends.|
|FUTURE GENERATIONS DEPEND ON ME: I believe that I should speak-up for my family and loved ones. I don’t want my children (and future generations) to be left with the enormous debt or suffer the consequences of the decision to go nuclear.|
|ALL SOUTH AFRICANS SHOULD HAVE A VOICE IN THEIR ENERGY FUTURE: I believe that government has manipulated the process, corrupting the Electricity Plan modelling so that it forces nuclear into the mix, not matter what the people say. I reject the process and demand proper, open and transparent public participation which ensures that all South Africans can have their say.|
|GOVERNMENT DID NOT SUFFICIENTLY DRIVE PUBLIC EDUCATION ON ISSUES OF ENERGY: Not enough effort was made to educate citizens about the ALL the available and feasible options for the energy plan. It is the State’s duty to ensure that citizens understand the social, economic and environmental impacts of each option, for both the short and long term. This education would help us all choose better.|
|ESKOM IS NOT TO BE TRUSTED: The DoE has put Eskom in charge of procurement, yet Eskom continues to be marred by issues of mismanagement. I disagree with the DoE putting such an expensive deal in the hands of Eskom.|
South African Citizen
Postal Address: _____________________________________________________________________