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 […]

Priorities for our new minister of energy

  Tina Joemat-Pettersson faces a daunting task as South Africa’s new energy minister. She will be the seventh energy minister since the advent of democracy in 1994 (on average, ministers have occupied the position for less than three years). None have truly put their stamp on the sector and the challenges the new minister faces […]

Communications – what is Zuma thinking?

  What is President Jacob Zuma thinking?  Yunus Carrim is out and former security minister Siyabonga Cwele is in the hot seat to manage South Africa’s telecommunications, in a new department called the Ministry of Telecommunications and Postal Services. Before the election the communications industry had generally expected that Carrim would continue as the minister […]

South Africa’s low voltage network unprepared for bi-directional power flows

Delivering the SANEA lecture to an audience of about 100 at the Sasol auditorium in Rosebank, Johannesburg on the evening of 13 May 2014, Dr. Hendri Geldenhuys, a corporate specialist in smart grid technology at Eskom, discussed the importance of embedded generation (also known as distributed generation) to the overall energy supply in South Africa. […]

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