Eskom, South Africa’s power utility, has unveiled a countrywide effort urging citizens to cut back electricity use and in addition make use of current supplies a lot more conscientiously to ease demand on the power grid.
The roll-out of the 49M energy-efficiency drive, lead by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, took place at Turbine Hall in Newtown, Johannesburg.
The ceremony was attended by Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters, Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba, chairperson of Eskom Mpho Makwana and leading business owners.
Power to the people
The 49M effort, making reference to the 49-million citizens who are now living in South Africa, happens to be endorsed by government and business leaders. Its goal and objectives is generally to instil a long-term national culture of energy-saving.
The campaign will run for five years.
Motlanthe said: “The movement being unveiled is a crucial contributing factor in the country’s push when it comes to responsible economic and developmental expansion. All of us have it within our capacity to really make a difference to energy-efficiency throughout South Africa.
“Government has pledged itself to make certain that all South Africans have accessibility to electric power. As a public utility in charge of electricity generation, Eskom has already in recent times expanded its network and additionally by means of electrification initiatives, contributed to bringing quality lifestyle and economic possibilities to a large number of rural regions who had in the past been refused the ability to access services.”
The campaign requests all South Africans to “lift a finger”, meaning that it will require merely one flick of the hand to turn off devices which are not being used.
The symbol for the advertising and marketing campaign is a yellow reminder string tied around an index finger with messages: “Remember your power” along with “If you are not using it switch it off”.
Furthermore there will also be stickers intended for people to place in strategic spots for instance on plugs and light switches, serving as a constant reminder.
Eskom’s chairperson Makwana said: “It will be the group effort and commitment coming from all South Africans that will actually really make a difference to the energy future of our country.
“Some South Africans already have made a start with simple and easy measures, which include making use of compact fluorescent lamps as an alternative to incandescent globes, attempting to keep unused appliances turned off and minimizing electricity wastage, which in turn can have a significant outcome.”
Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters added: “We already have acknowledged energy-efficiency and conservation as being a low-risk and low-cost solution in order to take action against climate change imperatives in addition to being an easy method of delaying several of the investment in infrastructure, the financing for which during this current economic climate could possibly be challenging.”
It is estimated that South Africa will probably need to double its existing installed capacity of 42 000 megawatts over the upcoming 20 years to be able to keep up with demand.
Eskom has already committed to expend R300-billion (US$43-billion) by 2020 to make certain South Africa meets its energy supply and demand ratio.
Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said: “Government is wholly commited to ensuring long-term security of electrical energy supply for all South Africans and definitely will continue to partner with Eskom together with other appropriate stakeholders to accomplish this goal. We continue to be resolute of the fact that the country should under no circumstances experience yet another time period of painful, rotational load-shedding as experienced in 2008.”
Supporters of the campaign include American Chamber of Commerce, Endangered Wildlife Trust, Food and Trees for Africa, Information Technology Association of South Africa, Massmart, MTN, National Union of Mine Workers, National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa, National Economic Development and Labour Council, National Stakeholder Advisory Council on Energy, Sci-Bono, Solidarity, South African Chamber of Commerce and the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa.
Eskom CEO Brian Dames said: “The movement will be built on ‘three P’s’, which translate to save the power, save the planet and save your pocket.”