Multiple appointments of mine surveyors a risky business

  The increasing trend in recent years to appoint mine surveyors to positions of responsibility over multiple mines is potentially hazardous for personnel working on those mines and is hastening the demise of the mine surveying profession just as it is most needed. In terms of the Mine Health and Safety Act of 1996 (MHSA) […]

Video: Minister tells Eskom to “do something extraordinary”

  Speaking at the utility’s integrated results announcement meeting on 11 July 2014, Lynne Brown, the minister of public enterprises said that the utility needs to improve its performance by thinking outside the box and doing something extraordinary. Eskom has reported a net profit of R7,1-billion for the year ended 31 March 2014 (which includes profit on […]

Owning our energy future

  At a recent conference in Cape Town I was asked to address the load shedding of 6 March this year and the dire consequences for the South African economy and investor confidence. My response was that there are two ways we can view the South African power sector. On the one hand you could […]

Data as infrastructure: who should carry the costs?

  The value of geospatial and earth observations data to facilitate informed decisions is indisputable. Increasingly decision-makers have become aware that a single problem may require access to many datasets, while one dataset may have many applications. Having access to a variety of datasets that are current and accurate ensures superior solutions. Essential datasets that […]

The confusion continues: Where does ICASA belong?

  When President Jacob Zuma announced his cabinet some weeks ago, the split of the Department of Communications (DoC) into the Department of Telecommunication and Postal Services (DTPS) under former spy boss Siyabonga Cwele and the DOC under Faith Muthambi raised many eyebrows. The new DOC will take under its wing the Independent Communications Authority […]

Remarks by minister of energy to the Parliamentary Portfiolio Committee on Energy

  On Tuesday, 1 July 2014, the new minister of energy, Tina Joemat Pettersson addressed the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Energy in Cape Town. Below is a transcript of her remarks. Chairperson, The President of the Republic addressed the nation on 17th June 2014 and I dare say that the directives and injunctions issued to […]

Toward universal energy access: Designing a new household electrification strategy for SA

  Over the past two decades, South Africa has achieved a significant level of electrification: 76% of all households now have access to largely grid-connected power, up from 34% in 1994. Despite successes, the country’s Department of Energy (DoE) and its delivery partners face several barriers to electrifying the remaining backlog of 3,4-million households. In […]

Department of Energy – more talk or a move to action?

  Speaking at a breakfast hosted by The New Age and SABC at the Sandton Convention Centre on 23 June 2014, the new minister of energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, indicated the priorities she has set herself in her new portfolio. Central to this appears to be an appreciation of the weaknesses in her department, and the […]

Eskom’s energy and revenue loss management

  Energy losses continue to be a challenge for utilities globally, both in developed and developing economies. As a result of increasing production costs in the value chain, utilities have to manage these losses at acceptable levels. In South Africa the problem is exacerbated by Eskom’s generation capacity challenges. Losses incurred in electrical power systems […]

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