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Editorial Insight

Terence Creamer is the Editor of Engineering News and a Deputy Editor for Mining Weekly. He also has editorial responsibility for Polity.org.za and Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa.

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Reality check
14th June 2024 By: Terence Creamer

Regardless of composition, there are certain realities that South Africa’s new government cannot avoid. The first is an unemployment rate so high that, unless it is reduced materially, there is no... 


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Public protection
7th June 2024 By: Terence Creamer

The application by Eskom to preserve and reserve grid connection capacity for independent power producers (IPPs) participating in public procurement processes implemented in line with Section 34 of... 


Worth the ink?
Worth the ink?
31st May 2024 By: Terence Creamer

The National Council of Provinces’ (NCOP’s) recent approval of the Electricity Regulation Amendment (ERA) Bill has far-reaching implications for the future structure and operation of an industry... 


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Unintended consequences?
24th May 2024 By: Terence Creamer

It is highly unlikely that South Africa would have made the progress it has in stabilising electricity supply and setting in place initiatives to halt the collapse of the country’s... 


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Green stimulus
17th May 2024 By: Terence Creamer

South Africa’s manufacturing sector is in dire need of stimulus. In its recently released ‘Industrial Policy & Strategy Review’, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic) confirmed... 


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Coalitions and reform
10th May 2024 By: Terence Creamer

With the 2024 election days away, attention is turning to the governance arrangements that will prevail nationally and in key battleground provinces following the poll and what these outcomes will... 


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In the weeds
3rd May 2024 By: Terence Creamer

South Africa has gone some way in starting to reform its electricity industry, which has been failing the country visibly for nearly two decades. As these changes are published, consulted and... 


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Reflect and recommit
26th April 2024 By: Terence Creamer

Memories are short and it often feels like they are becoming shorter not only because of the flood of information associated with the 24-hour news cycle but also second-by-second social media... 


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Mixed outlook
19th April 2024 By: Terence Creamer

The recent period of decreased loadshedding has been met with tremendous scepticism by a South African public who have been burnt more times over the past 15-plus years than a lump of wet coal.... 


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Attitudinal shift
12th April 2024 By: Terence Creamer

It is estimated that about 2.5 GW of rooftop solar was installed across South Africa last year; a trend that was expected to continue at the start of this year given that some 5 GW of solar panels... 


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Out of step
5th April 2024 By: Terence Creamer

Following wholly inadequate public consultations, stakeholders have submitted their written comments on the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s (DMRE’s) draft Integrated Resource Plan.... 


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Important milestone
29th March 2024 By: Terence Creamer

The passing of the Electricity Regulation Act (ERA) by the National Assembly earlier this month represents a significant milestone in the ongoing evolution and reform of South Africa’s struggling... 


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In play
22nd March 2024 By: Terence Creamer

Confirmation that the curtailment framework outlined by Eskom in January is available to wind independent power producers (IPPs) preparing project submissions under Bid Window Seven (BW7) of the... 


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Not so quiet revolution
15th March 2024 By: Terence Creamer

For several years, the roll-out of rooftop solar, batteries and inverters has been referred to as South Africa’s quite revolution. While Eskom struggled to keep the lights on and government battled... 


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Progress, but too slow
8th March 2024 By: Terence Creamer

There is growing impatience over the slow pace at which the South African government is moving to harness the $11.6-billion in concessional loans and grants pledged by several developed countries... 


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Full transparency
1st March 2024 By: Terence Creamer

The decision to drawdown R150-billion from the Gold and Foreign Exchange Contingency Reserve Account (GFECRA) to reduce government borrowings and surging debt-servicing costs was the major feature... 


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Crunch time
23rd February 2024 By: Terence Creamer

The consequences of policy failure in electricity are so obvious there is no need to ventilate them again. Not so for gas, however, given that they are only visible to those manufacturers that have... 


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Reform momentum
16th February 2024 By: Terence Creamer

From an economic perspective, the most important signal provided by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address was that the reform agenda remains in place, and that it will be... 


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Worrying outlier
9th February 2024 By: Terence Creamer

The International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) most recent report on the electricity sector includes a troubling section on Africa’s recent underperformance in this regard. In the section, the authors... 


Grid unlocked
Grid unlocked
2nd February 2024 By: Terence Creamer

As the South African government seeks to re-establish some momentum behind the public procurement of new independent power producer (IPP) generation and storage, much focus will be on how bidders... 


Big procurement year
Big procurement year
26th January 2024 By: Terence Creamer

The coming year is poised to be the most active ever for the public procurement of new electricity generation capacity. Besides shepherding the already-procured projects to financial close –... 


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Gas lock-in
19th January 2024 By: Terence Creamer

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail,” the quote, attributed to Benjamin Franklin, reads. What happens, however, when your plan is a failure? The misnamed draft Integrated Resource Plan... 


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No seamless extension
15th December 2023 By: Terence Creamer

The Koeberg saga, much like South Africa’s ongoing efforts to tackle loadshedding decisively, hardly ever fails to disappoint. Having missed deadline after deadline, Africa’s only nuclear power... 


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No love, but some sympathy
8th December 2023 By: Terence Creamer

There is not much love for ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA). The near-monopoly business is seen as over-protected, and under responsive by many of its customers. Many questions have been raised... 


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Green growth and jobs
1st December 2023 By: Terence Creamer

Transitioning South Africa’s energy ecosystem from its current over-reliance on coal to one progressively based on the country’s natural advantages of abundant sun, wind and land will take decades.... 


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Light from the tunnel?
24th November 2023 By: Terence Creamer

Reform progress in South Africa rarely moves in a straight line from A to B, with the stop/start nature of the country’s electricity reform being a case in point. Nevertheless, there is a... 


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Language of incumbency
17th November 2023 By: Terence Creamer

Two recent Eskom publications are heavily laden with the language of incumbency, which continues to go unchecked by a policymaker distracted by realpolitik rather than real solutions. The first is... 


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End of the beginning
10th November 2023 By: Terence Creamer

News that 67 municipalities that collectively owe Eskom R56.8-billion, or 97% of the municipal arrear debt of R58.5-billion owed to the utility at the end of March, have formally applied to... 


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Power in policy
3rd November 2023 By: Terence Creamer

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has never disguised the fact that he believes that Eskom could be turned around and loadshedding ended if he was made the shareholder-minister... 


Win-win solution
27th October 2023 By: Terence Creamer

As outlined previously in this column, it makes sense to place exports at the heart of South Africa’s upcoming Green Hydrogen Commercialisation Strategy, despite misplaced concern that this... 


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Still no solution
20th October 2023 By: Terence Creamer

For decades now, the issue of the debt owed by municipalities to Eskom has not only remained an intractable problem but one that has grown in both scale and in its potential to create financial... 


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Why export?
13th October 2023 By: Terence Creamer

When the topic of green hydrogen arises in South Africa, two concerns are commonly raised, and these will remain significant issues to address should South Africa eventually begin to develop the... 


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Noxious trade-offs
6th October 2023 By: Terence Creamer

The decision by Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy to uphold a decision of the National Air Quality Officer (NAQO) to permit the Kusile power station to postpone its... 


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Solutions vs problems
29th September 2023 By: Terence Creamer

There are many differences between Australia and South Africa, and these should not be dismissed or diminished. However, there are also several similarities, particularly when it comes to natural... 


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Party pooper
22nd September 2023 By: Terence Creamer

As D-Day for the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) approaches, it is evident that the National Treasury will need to go against the political grain if it is to achieve its objective of... 


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Debt derailment?
15th September 2023 By: Terence Creamer

As with so much else in South Africa currently, the indication given by new Transnet chairperson Andile Sangqu that the State-owned freight logistics group may require an equity injection is... 


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Here we go?
8th September 2023 By: Terence Creamer

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has confirmed that he aims to secure Cabinet approval to publish an updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for public consultation during a... 


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Laggard costs
1st September 2023 By: Terence Creamer

The cost of failing to keep pace with what is required economically and environmentally for energy sustainability should surely now be plain for all to see. Besides the fiscal costs associated with... 


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Ongoing distortions
25th August 2023 By: Terence Creamer

As has been highlighted in this column previously, South Africa’s energy transition has become a highly contested topic and is, thus, a hotbed for the spreading of misinformation and ‘fake news’.... 


 

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