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Terence Creamer

Terence Creamer

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.

Tel: +2711 622 3744

Email: newsdesk@engineeringnews.co.za

Editorial Insight

What emergency?

By: Terence Creamer     5th June 2020 News that bid documentation is finally being prepared for the so-called emergency procurement of 2 000 MW of electricity generation from independent power producers (IPPs) is incredibly ironic. For one, this ‘emergency’ was confirmed all the way back on October 18 last year at the release of the... 

A renewables stimulus

By: Terence Creamer     29th May 2020 There are several stimulus levers that South Africa will consider pulling to extricate itself from what is far more likely to be a serious depression than a fleeting recession. One of these stands out more prominently than most of the others: an accelerated renewable-energy build programme. The... 

Disturbingly misguided

By: Terence Creamer     22nd May 2020 Being able to participate, virtually, in several of the parliamentary committee meetings that have taken place during May has been a combination of interesting, frustrating and downright scary. Without fail, these meetings yield one or two real gems of information, amid the irritation of failed... 

Department of wasted energy?

By: Terence Creamer     15th May 2020 Many acerbic comments have been made about the folly of government pursuing a strategy to build a ‘new’ national carrier from the carcass of the old South African Airways (SAA). It did not take long, however, for the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) to make the ‘new SAA’ proposal... 

World in (green) union?

By: Terence Creamer     8th May 2020 In a speech to the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, held by video conference this year owing to the ongoing threat of the Covid-19 virus, International Monetary Fund (IMF) MD Kristalina Georgieva said that, for the post-pandemic recovery phase to be made sustainable, “we must do everything in our... 

Here to Stay

By: Terence Creamer     1st May 2020 During a recent interview with Stephen Sackur, the presenter of BBC HARDtalk, World Health Organisation special envoy for Covid-19 Dr David Nabarro made it painfully clear that humanity will be living with the Covid-19 pandemic for many months to come, if not years. In response to Sackur’s... 

Steepening the economic curve

By: Terence Creamer     24th April 2020 Thanks to the chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Group on Covid-19, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, South Africans have some insight into the likely shape of the coronavirus pandemic curve. The exponential rise in the number of infections initially anticipated did not materialise. Instead, the... 

Clean energy as a post-Covid-19 stimulus 

By: Terence Creamer     17th April 2020 With Covid-19 and climate change arguably posing the greatest existential threats to this generation, as well as future generations, calls are strengthening for economic stimulus measures adopted by governments in response to the pandemic to embrace sustainability and climate goals. International... 

Working during a pandemic

By: Terence Creamer     10th April 2020 Flattening the curve, as Harvard Kennedy School’s Ricardo Hausmann pointed out in a recent presentation, means that there will be fewer cases of Covid-19 at any point in time. This prevents the healthcare system from being overwhelmed and creates time and space for the development of a treatment... 

Virtue of necessity

By: Terence Creamer     3rd April 2020 This 21-day lockdown is quite obviously a solution that has been cooked up for a very different context to the one prevailing in South Africa. It is surely best suited to a setting where all citizens have access to decent houses or apartments that are constantly supplied with water, sanitation,... 

New ways of thinking and acting

By: Terence Creamer     27th March 2020 Planning, coordination and cooperation have to become our watchwords as we seek to respond to the Covid-19 health emergency and the economic impacts thereof. Acting decisively is vitally important, but so is acting, as far as feasibly possible, in unison and with purpose. More than ever before,... 

Be prepared

By: Terence Creamer     20th March 2020 There was much excitement at the start of 2018 about the prospect of a growth tailwind, following Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as African National Congress (ANC) president, and later Head of State. It soon became clear, however, that ‘Ramaphoria’ was more psychological relief than physical cure.... 

Worrying developments

By: Terence Creamer     13th March 2020 It is almost impossible to overstate the scale of the gas discoveries that have been made in the Rovuma basin of northern Mozambique since 2010. With yet more exploration planned, some 150-trillion cubic feet of gas has already been discovered. The finds have attracted leading international... 

Implementation risks

By: Terence Creamer     6th March 2020 It is difficult to remember a time when economists and commentators were so off the mark when making forecasts about what a Finance Minister would announce in his Budget as they were for Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s February 26 address. The discrepancy between those predictions and reality... 

Energy B-HAG

By: Terence Creamer     28th February 2020 In light of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that measures will be taken in the coming months to fundamentally change the trajectory of energy generation and procurement, it is surely opportune to consider using the intervention for setting a ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’, or B-HAG, for the... 

Out of step

By: Terence Creamer     21st February 2020 There were indications already at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that South Africa was out of step with the main themes occupying the minds of most global government and business leaders. The overwhelming thrust of the 2020 gathering was about dealing with the existential threat... 

Walter Mitty Syndrome

By: Terence Creamer     14th February 2020 The South African government would not be able to build an emergency hospital in ten days, let alone an emergency power station. For evidence, look no further than the horribly overpriced and disastrously delayed Medupi and Kusile coal projects. Even in the face of an obvious emergency, which the... 

In need of a quick win

By: Terence Creamer     7th February 2020 Any rational observer of the South African condition, will probably have grudgingly come to accept that it’s going to take a significant amount of time to turn around the performance not only of the economy, but also those public entities that still play an over-sized role in shaping the... 

The stuff of nightmares

By: Terence Creamer     31st January 2020 For those who have resolved to make 2020 the year they start prioritising a good night’s sleep, it would not be advisable to make bedtime reading of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) new report on South Africa’s electricity crisis. Released as a 63-page slide deck, the... 

End of the beginning

By: Terence Creamer     24th January 2020 South Africans may be divided on many issues, but on the fact that inadequate electricity supply represents the main risk to the country’s economy, there is undeniable unity. Ongoing disagreement remains, however, on the solution. This in itself is flabbergasting for two reasons. Firstly, because... 

Time to act

By: Terence Creamer     17th January 2020 The return of load-shedding, together with what is a truly dire prognosis for system stability, should surely have been the wake-up call government required to finally begin implementing its very own Integrated Resource Plan 2019 (IRP 2019). Instead, the only indication that the Department of... 

Road trip to the ʼ20s

By: Terence Creamer     13th December 2019 As we approach the onramp to the 2020’s, the car-wreck of South Africa’s ‘lost decade’ looms large in the rear-view mirror. The confidence boost provided by the successful hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2010 is a faded road sign thousands of kilometres in the distant past. Even though the... 

Huge risk, no urgency

By: Terence Creamer     6th December 2019 The risk posed by Eskom to the fiscus is surpassed only by the risk posed by ongoing electricity shortages to the economy and South Africa’s growth prospects. The South African Reserve Bank has already downgraded the country’s growth potential to a miserable 1% – a rate wholly insufficient to... 

Time to get real about Eskom coal fleet

By: Terence Creamer     29th November 2019 Opinion may be divided on the appointment of Andre de Ruyter as Eskom’s new CEO, but on one point it’s overwhelmingly united: there will be no honeymoon period. The attitude of citizens towards State-owned companies generally and Eskom in particular has hardened. Nobody wants to hear any more... 

Mobilise private finance 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd November 2019 One of the key messages in the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) Africa Energy Outlook 2019 report is that neither State budgets nor development finance will be sufficient to fund the investments required to meet Africa’s growing power demands to 2040. The report states that cumulative... 

Crunch time

By: Terence Creamer     15th November 2019 South Africans are painfully aware of the negative consequences of power shortages. The menace of load-shedding has hung over the country’s economy like a pall for more than ten years. Notwithstanding flat demand, an expensive Eskom build programme and the introduction of some private generation,... 

Backsliding 

By: Terence Creamer     8th November 2019 The problems with the way the World Bank’s yearly ‘Ease of Doing Business Ranking’ is compiled are well documented. Nevertheless, the ranking has become something of a touchstone for those seeking to make a quick assessment of a country’s business environment. In recognition of this, President... 

Urgent Concurrence

By: Terence Creamer     1st November 2019 The very last column in the Integrated Resource Plan 2019 (IRP 2019) table is certain to attract much attention, for the immediate future anyway. The column bears the unglamorous heading of ‘Other’, followed by the words ‘Distributed Generation, CoGen, Biomass, Landfill’ in brackets. Under the... 

Power struggle 

By: Terence Creamer     25th October 2019 State-owned electricity utility Eskom confirmed earlier this month that it would be taking the Energy Regulator’s most recent tariff determination on legal review and would also be applying for urgent interim relief to “avoid financial disaster”. The action was not unexpected. The utility had... 

Necessary, but insufficient

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2019 “The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a game-changer, both for South Africa and the rest of the continent,” President Cyril Ramaphosa wrote in his October 7 letter to the nation. African integration, he added, is “overwhelmingly and undeniably in our national interest”,... 

Necessary, but insufficient

By: Terence Creamer     18th October 2019 “The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a game-changer, both for South Africa and the rest of the continent,” President Cyril Ramaphosa wrote in his October 7 letter to the nation. African integration, he added, is “overwhelmingly and undeniably in our national interest”,... 

Best of bad choices

By: Terence Creamer     11th October 2019 When asked by CNN host Fareed Zakaria about America’s decision to abandon the Iran nuclear deal, former British Prime Minister David Cameron replied: “It’s certainly right to say that the deal had its imperfections, but all deals have their imperfections  . . . often in politics and international... 

Tail wagging dog

By: Terence Creamer     4th October 2019 During a recent energy event, Andy Calitz, who has bravely put up his hand for the vacant post of Eskom CEO, indicated that one of his major impressions since returning to South Africa, following an absence of over two decades, is that domestic executives and policymakers have not yet fully... 

Saved by democracy?

By: Terence Creamer     27th September 2019 The reactions of Julius Malema and Gwede Mantashe respectively to recent negative media reports show up stark differences in both style and substance. True, the allegations published about Malema’s illicit windfall following the unconscionable plunder of VBS Mutual Bank are vastly more serious... 

Growth engine

By: Terence Creamer     20th September 2019 For those still in search of evidence of just how beneficial a relationship South Africa enjoys with the rest of the continent – and Southern Africa in particular – a visit to any regional border post would immediately dispel any doubts. Even more than a thousand kilometres north of Johannesburg,... 

Food for thought

By: Terence Creamer     13th September 2019 Next week is the deadline for the submission of comments on the economic policy paper released by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni in late August. The paper’s distribution came as something of a surprise – possibly as surprising as the Minister’s penchant for cooking with Lucky Star pilchards.... 

VAR and the IRP

By: Terence Creamer     6th September 2019 If you watch international football, you will be acutely aware that one of the hottest topics of conversations these days is ‘VAR’ or the video assistant referee. Never does a weekend go by without enough cyber and real ink being spilled over VAR-related decision to fill a pint-sized glass to... 

Political gamesmanship?

By: Terence Creamer     30th August 2019 Mineral Resources and Energy minister Gwede Mantashe left many scratching their heads again last week after a briefing of mostly foreign correspondents in Johannesburg. It came as little surprise when the Minister reiterated government’s hackneyed argument that South Africa would be remiss if it... 

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