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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: terence@engineeringnews.co.za

Editorial Insight

Much still to do

By: Terence Creamer     20th May 2022 There is no question that Operation Vulindlela has done a good job in identifying the main obstacles to important structural reforms in key growth- and job-creating sectors such as electricity, transport, water, tourism, and digital infrastructure. There is also no doubt that the initiative,... 

Procurement delays

By: Terence Creamer     13th May 2022 News that the 25 solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind projects selected late last year as preferred bids would not achieve financial close by the end of April as advertised came as no surprise. There had been murmurings about difficulties in the run-up to the deadline and a precedent for a delay had... 

Politics of power

By: Terence Creamer     6th May 2022 The politics surrounding both Eskom and South Africa’s now protracted electricity crisis has always been problematic. It was politics that prevented the implementation of the necessary market reforms, as outlined in the 1998 White Paper, that would have gone some way to ensuring that South... 

New look and feel

By: Terence Creamer     29th April 2022 Dear valued reader, Those of you who receive the physical Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine will no doubt have noticed already that we have made a fairly dramatic change to our paper. 

Breaking point?

By: Terence Creamer     22nd April 2022 There will be much interest in the coming days as to whether all 25 of the wind and solar photovoltaic projects named as preferred bids in October are able to reach financial close. The projects were selected following bid window five (BW5) of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer... 

Investment gap

By: Terence Creamer     15th April 2022 South Africans have rightfully paid detailed attention to the state of the country’s generation assets over the past decade and a bit as load-shedding has progressively intensified, precipitated by the undermaintained coal fleet beginning to decommission itself. Despite this, progress has been... 

Global momentum

By: Terence Creamer     8th April 2022 Last week I wrote that South African policymakers should not misread the energy market signals that have arisen since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A note of caution written in light of indications that some domestic officials were interpreting the crisis as a signal that energy independence... 

Green independence

By: Terence Creamer     1st April 2022 Policymakers should not misread the admittedly confusing energy market signals that have arisen since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The confusion has been driven largely by the scramble under way within Europe to wean itself off Russian energy faster than initially planned, which has led to... 

Spillover effects

By: Terence Creamer     25th March 2022 There is significant concern, and rightfully so, about the outlook for fuel prices and security of supply following Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine in late February. No country is immune from the fallout and South Africa, which is a crude and fuel importer, is expected to feel the effects... 

Overexposed

By: Terence Creamer     18th March 2022 The most recent bout of load-shedding not only reconfirmed South Africa’s debilitating overexposure to coal, but also this country’s growing vulnerability to diesel price spikes and supply squeezes. As usual, the poor performance of the Eskom coal fleet lay at the heart of the problem. At times,... 

Contested territory

By: Terence Creamer     11th March 2022 The just transition was always going to be a highly contested concept and the battle, it appears, is only but beginning. South Africa has already made remarkable progress in adding some flesh to the concept’s bare bones: first through the diligent work of the second National Planning Commission... 

Focus on Growth

By: Terence Creamer     4th March 2022 Having some breathing space as a result of a R182-billion tax windfall is one thing, using it wisely is quite another. Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s maiden Budget has provided the scaffolding for making the best use of these unexpected revenues. Instead of directing it all towards new... 

Public paralysis

By: Terence Creamer     25th February 2022 To the outside observer, the recent debate on the importance of the private sector in creating employment must have come across as almost surreal given South Africa’s economic predicament and the poor state of the public sector. For one, it is painfully obvious that South Africa is still... 

Let’s get it right

By: Terence Creamer     18th February 2022 Minerals Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe is correct about the need to update the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). Even on the very day, October 18, 2019, when the document was finally Gazetted the so-called IRP 2019 was out of date. The technology cost, electricity demand and... 

Precarious tipping point

By: Terence Creamer     11th February 2022 Government and its energy policymakers in particular seem oblivious to the predicament South Africa is in when it comes to the electricity supply industry. True, few, if any, Ministers or officials seek to deny the crisis these days – intensifying load-shedding offers a regular reality check on... 

Vicious cycle

By: Terence Creamer     4th February 2022 It was obvious for all those who took the time to listen in to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa’s) most recent hearings into Eskom’s allowable revenue application that the gap between the utility’s needs and those of its customers is wider than it has ever been. Eskom is... 

Democracy still best vaccine against populism

By: Terence Creamer     28th January 2022 South Africa is not immune to pandemics and 2022 has, thus far, proved something of a super-spreader event for the virus of populism. From obnoxious rhetoric against the Constitution by a person who has sworn to protect it and unsubstantiated and racially tinged attacks on the judiciary, to... 

Urgent solution needed

By: Terence Creamer     21st January 2022 A year can feel extremely long when events run away from you, but awfully short if one is trying to implement a turnaround. 2021 is a case in point. 

Avoidable distraction

By: Terence Creamer     10th December 2021 By the time you read this, Justice Jody Kollapen would have delivered his judgment in the latest – and arguably the most worrying – legal tussle between Eskom and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa). The case arose after Nersa rejected, on September 30, Eskom’s latest revenue... 

Delivery deferred?

By: Terence Creamer     3rd December 2021 There was justifiable amazement last week, when several councils, including three large Gauteng metropolitan councils, were put out of the reach of the African National Congress (ANC). Words such as earthquake and collapse were used liberally across the print, online and broadcast media, while... 

Opportunity knocks

By: Terence Creamer     26th November 2021 South Africans have become quite accustomed to government never failing to miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. And nowhere has this been more apparent than in the electricity milieu. After producing a sensible policy in 1998 outlining the restructuring of the industry, it failed to follow... 

Taking stock

By: Terence Creamer     19th November 2021 South Africans are approaching the prospect of ongoing load-shedding with a mixture of anger and resignation. The anger manifests mainly in the form of predictable calls for the resignation of the current Eskom board and CEO. 

Now for the detail

12th November 2021 South Africa and Eskom can be rightfully pleased with the political declaration – signed with France, Germany, the UK, the US and the European Union – opening the way for an initial $8.5-billion to support the country’s energy transition and its plans to offer social protection for workers and... 

Credible plan?

By: Terence Creamer     5th November 2021 There is much scepticism about the ability of Eskom to deploy the grid capacity needed to unlock the 30 GW of new, mostly renewable, generation capacity that has to be introduced into the network over the coming ten years so as to ensure security of supply as some coal plants are decommissioned.... 

State of despair

By: Terence Creamer     29th October 2021 In the run-up to the municipal elections, various media outlets have carried excellent, albeit highly distressing, reports detailing the collapse of basic services in towns and townships across the country. The North West town of Lichtenburg rose to particular prominence on News24 after Clover... 

What crisis?

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2021 South Africa has experienced yet another terrible year of electricity supply disruption. Even before the most recent bout of power cuts in October, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research had indicated that load-shedding during the first half of 2021 was equivalent to more than 70% of... 

Transition risks

By: Terence Creamer     15th October 2021 Recent developments in Europe and Asia – which have seen oil, gas, coal and electricity prices surge, as well as supply disruptions – have raised questions globally about the energy transition, its trajectory and the resilience of future energy systems that are based increasingly on renewable... 

Worth exploring

By: Terence Creamer     8th October 2021 The Just Transition Transaction (JTT) proposal released by Meridian Economics last month to coincide with a visit of climate envoys from Europe, the US and the UK may be both massively ambitious and highly complex, yet it would be wrong to dismiss it. Unlike Eskom’s simpler plan – which focuses... 

Next step

By: Terence Creamer     1st October 2021 The importance of Cabinet’s approval of a revised and more ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) carbon mitigation target range for 2030 cannot be overstated. South Africa’s new 2030 range is 350 – 420 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt Co2-eq) and represents an improvement... 

Lessons from America?

By: Terence Creamer     24th September 2021 Recent signs of America’s weakening global economic, cultural, and military dominance notwithstanding, the country continues to play a superpower-sized role in shaping the international narrative, with oversized consequences for national debates. Be it Black Lives Matter, vaccine hesitancy,... 

Planetary alignment?

By: Terence Creamer     17th September 2021 Mining personality Bernard Swanepoel’s disarming sense of humour enables him to speak many a true word in jest without triggering offence. But he wasn’t joking when, in opening a recent webinar on the hydrogen economy, he indicated that he took pronouncements made inside African National Congress... 

Debt albatross

By: Terence Creamer     10th September 2021 While it’s been obvious for years, Eskom’s recent results once again showed that, absent a debt solution, the utility has no real pathway to financial sustainability. Yes, there are signs of progress on both costs and corruption, which together with restructuring, a stabilisation of operations... 

No time for complacency

By: Terence Creamer     3rd September 2021 The recent rebasing and benchmarking exercise undertaken by Statistics South Africa as part of a routine five-yearly review made for some relatively happy reading, especially given the constant flow of dire economic news, including the fact that unemployment rose to a record 34.4% in the second... 

Green vision

By: Terence Creamer     27th August 2021 South Africa is hardly ever short of a plan, yet the country hardly ever has a vision. That’s why Andre de Ruyter’s recent Van der Bijl Memorial Lecture was so refreshing. In his address, the Eskom CEO lifted his gaze beyond the group’s operational and environmental headaches, its near... 

Training and opportunity

By: Terence Creamer     20th August 2021 If South Africa is serious about ensuring that its transition to a low-carbon economy is a just one, then there is no question that the re-training of coal workers will have to be at the very heart of any social mitigation effort. Re-training alone, however, will not be sufficient to ensure that... 

Window of opportunity

By: Terence Creamer     13th August 2021 South Africa has a narrow window of opportunity to attract significant levels of international finance to support what is becoming an increasingly urgent transition away from coal, and to do so in a way that not only stimulates much needed investment but also fully integrates the country with... 

Hostile climate

By: Terence Creamer     6th August 2021 As the countdown clock to the Glasgow climate conference ticked past the 100-day mark late last month several deadly natural disasters, from floods and heat domes, provided stark reminders of the risk climate change is posing to humanity. In a recent address, John Kerry, who is America’s Special... 

Our thoughts at this difficult time

30th July 2021 2021 is proving to be another difficult year for South African business. Despite rising minerals prices and some credible signs that initiatives are under way to restore good governance, roll-out vaccines and implement growth-enhancing economic reforms, business activity has been harmed by the... 

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