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Landbousektor antwoord tot energievoorsiening | Agricultural sector’s answer to power supply

English to follow:

18 Februarie 2020

Agri SA verwelkom die nodige aandag wat president Cyril Ramaphosa in sy staatsrede aan die Eskom krisis geskenk het. Dit is bemoedigend om te sien dat Agri SA se voorafgaande gesprekke met minister Pravin Gordhan aangaande die energiekrisis en landbou se rol ter verligting van energietekorte, sy weg tot in die staatsrede gevind het.

Landbou het die vermoë om binne 12 maande ná goedkeuring van projekregistrasies energie aan die nasionale netwerk te voorsien wat die druk op Eskom kan help verlig. Agri SA het saam met vooraanstaande finansieringsinstellings ‘n produk ontwikkel wat finansiering onafhanklik van die balansstaat bied vir die oprig van sonkragstelsels. Dit is vir Agri SA belangrik dat die landbousektor deel kan wees van die oplossing tot volhoubare energievoorsiening binne die hernubare energie raamwerk sonder om die sekuriteit wat nodig is vir die ontwikkeling van dié sektor in energie opwekking vas te vang. Sodoende kan beide ontwikkelings plaasvind en beskikbare hulpbronne maksimaal benut word.

Agri SA is besig om die aankondigings oor energie-verwante sake in die staatsrede deeglik te bestudeer en druk op die Departement van Energie (DvE), Eskom en NERSA te plaas om die beleid en produkte so spoedig moontlik te ontwikkel om sodoende uiting te gee aan die bedoeling van die President. Dit is ook belangrik om die proses vanaf aansoek tot en met NERSA registrasie te bespoedig vir eenhede onder 1 MW, en nie net bo 1 MW soos in die staatsrede verwys is nie. Dit is juis in hierdie opsig waar Agri SA die landboubedryf se rol in energie opwekking erken en dus vir die sektor vir gunstige tydsraamwerke sal beding.

Agri SA se Sentrum van Uitnemendheid – Ekonomie en Handel, sal die enjinkamer wees wat uitvoering aan hierdie doelwitte sal gee wat inklusiewe deelname van die landboubedrywe asook korporatiewe lede insluit. Dit rus Agri SA toe om effektief deel te neem aan beleidsontwikkeling en die ontwikkeling van produkte deur Eskom. Voorts sal Agri SA druk plaas op die DvE, Eskom en NERSA vir die spoedige praktiese implementering van planne wat in die staatsrede uitgelig is.

Agri SA en sy affiliasies is aktief betrokke by die huidige NERSA openbare verhore rakende Eskom se “RCA”-aansoek om R27,323 miljard van die 2018/19 boekjaar se tekort aan inkomste te herwin. Tariefverhogings alleen is nie die antwoord vir Eskom se probleme nie. Agri SA sal landbou se kwesbaarheid vir bo inflasie-verwante insetkostes duidelik stel en die beginsels soos in die staatsrede uitgelig, in die aanbiedinge en argumente inkorporeer.

Navrae

Nicol Jansen

Voorsitter: Agri SA se Sentrum vir Uitnemendheid – Ekonomie en Handel

(S) 082 948 2629

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18 February 2020

Agri SA welcomes the attention President Cyril Ramaphosa gave to the Eskom crisis in his state of the nation address. It was heartening to see that Agri SA’s prior discussions with Minister Pravin Gordhan concerning the energy crises and agriculture’s role in addressing power shortages had been incorporated into the President’s address.

Agriculture can provide the network with energy within 12 months after approval of project registrations to help alleviate the pressure on Eskom, which the President referred to as a priority. Agri SA has already developed a product in collaboration with top financial institutions that offer off-balance sheet finance for installing solar systems. Agri SA believes it is important that the agricultural industry forms part of the solution to sustainable energy supply within the renewable energy framework, without forfeiting the security needed for agricultural development for energy generation purposes. In this way, both types of development can take place while available capital is used optimally.

Agri SA will study the President’s announcements closely and exert pressure on the Department of Energy (DoE), Eskom and Nersa to develop the policy and products as soon as possible to give effect to the President’s objectives. It is also important to expedite the process from application to Nersa registration for units under 1 MW, and not only for those above 1 MW as referred to in the state of the nation address. It is in fact in this respect that Agri SA acknowledges the agricultural industry’s role in energy generation and intends to negotiate acceptable time frames for the sector.

Agri SA’s Centre of Excellence: Economics & Trade will serve as the engine room to give effect to these objectives, which will include inclusive participation by commodity as well as corporate members. It also equips Agri SA to participate effectively in policy development and the development of products by Eskom and will put pressure on the DoE, Eskom and Nersa to ensure prompt practical implementation of the plans highlighted in the state of the nation address.

Agri SA and its affiliates are currently actively involved in Nersa’s public hearings regarding Eskom’s RCA application to recover R27,323 billion of the 2018/19 financial year income deficit. Tariff increases alone are not the answer to Eskom’s problems. Agri SA will, in its presentations and arguments, clearly articulate agriculture’s vulnerability concerning above-inflation input costs and incorporate the principles as highlighted the state of the nation address.

Enquiries

Nicol Jansen

Chair: Agri SA’s Centre of Excellence – Economics & Trade

(M) 082 948 2629