Tag Archive | Minister Ben Martins

Integrated energy plan (IEP) around the corner

IEP a few months off

Benedict MartinsAn integrated energy plan (IEP) for South Africa covering the full energy spectrum will definitely be published before the year end, according to the director general, department of energy (DOE), a fact also confirmed by minister Ben Martins when addressing an energy conference in Johannesburg recently.

Ms Nellie Magubane, when addressing the relevant portfolio committee under chair, Sisi Njikelana who had called for an update on the energy plan, was accompanied by minister Ben Martins at the time and present for his first meeting in Parliament. The minister acknowledged and highlighted the importance of unfolding the plan as part of the country’s investment credentials as soon as possible.

Continuing energy story

Whilst re-confirming that the strategy was still at public participation stage, DG Magubane said there was “no end-state tomorrow” with the plan but rather a reflection of a “phased approach as the country’s appetite for energy as it  develops”.

The process began, she said, with the 1998 White Paper, the development of independent powers system operators (ISMO) and the accompanying ISMO Bill also awaiting the production of the IEP, the National Energy Act in 2008 and regulations on resources that have followed. The IEP this year would start the energy initiative rolling to be followed by gas development plans.

Not just supply factors

In the years since apartheid, said Magubane, when energy had different directives which were focused primarily on just maintaining supply, what had changed significantly were economic, environmental and social imperatives which now were being drawn in and superimposed. “The fixation with supply capacity is not now the only criteria to be considered in the energy paradigm”, she said.

The liquid fuels shortages of 2005 and subsequent electricity disruptions in the years up to 2008, Magubane said, had shown the need for coordinated planning to avoid disparate plans and contradictory initiatives in the sectors of electricity, liquid fuels and gas.

A twenty-year road map for the liquid fuels industry was in progress by the department, she said, and a gas planning infrastructure plan was to be developed once the extent of resources were better understood.

International view

Through time, and above all because of energy security, Magubane said, scenario planning has changed in South Africa to take in security, environmental and climate response factors. In conjunction to long-term climate change policy and agreements, lessons had been learnt from the IEA, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway and Spain, she said.

When asked what had been learnt from a study tour of the USA, DG Magubane said that the primary aspect learnt there was the success of establishing localised energy resources, focusing on what mattered most to the USA and reducing dependence on imports. We learnt, for example, that we must not try a change the impossible or employ unrealistic factors but move according to what was a fact locally. “For example, South Africa has a lot of coal but little water and these factors have to be built in, not ignored.”

She said that the overseas studies where different economies and different state policies were involved, due note that the position had changed radically in South Africa had to be acknowledged, as had been the case in many of those countries.

Control of resources

“For example, government has come from a position where in SA we were determining the appropriate level of involvement with the liquid fuel levels industry during transition to a rapidly globalising picture, to now having to maintain a strategic role in shaping all key sectors of the economy.”

In response to queries from parliamentarians, she acknowledged that the IEP to be produced would not incorporate any powers to the minister, who “would rather be able to exercise any powers affecting energy matters through normal regulatory enforcement contained in the many pieces of legislation that applied to the energy sector, such as the Energy and Gas Acts.”

Pricing restructuring

On pricing issues as far as the IEP was concerned, Ms. Magubane responded to questions that national treasury figures had so far been the base of determinations but in the light that submissions and input from stakeholders which were to emerge from the process now in progress, the issue of price factors could in all probability be reshaped.

In answer to complaints that that there was still no indication from her, or DOE, where the country was going in hydrocarbons, electricity or renewables and what pricing factors were involved for urgent investment needs, the chair asked that DOE be given time to develop the final report or “everything would go in different directions”.

DG Magubane assured parliamentarians that the final plan would enable everybody to weigh up infrastructure plans with government policy, even bearing in mind that the position is constantly changing given such issues as hydro input from neighbours, gas exploration in various forms and global tensions.

previous articles on this subject
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//uncategorized/mineral-and-petroleum-development-bill-grabs-resources/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//cabinetpresidential/president-obama-and-power-africa/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//cabinetpresidential/nuclear-goes-ahead-maybe-strategic-partner/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//energy/petrosa-has-high-hopes-with-the-chinese/

Posted in Electricity, Energy, Facebook and Twitter, Finance, economic, Fuel,oil,renewables, LinkedIn, Mining, beneficiation, Public utilities, Trade & Industry0 Comments

Parliament not satisfied with road death figures

 

Road death numbers not adding up

An opposition motion for clarification by the minister of transport, Ben Martins, on apparent discrepancies in road deaths reported by the ministry of transport has led to a call by the portfolio committee on transport for the minister to meet with parliamentarians to try and establish the reason for what is suspected to have been a major increase in mortality numbers according to recent figures given.

Iian ollisn a letter from Ian Ollis MP (DA), addressed to the chairperson of the transport committee Ruth Bhengu, it was pointed out that “the recent road death toll figures released by the Minister of Transport, Mr Ben Martins, raise serious concerns which require the immediate attention of the portfolio committee on transport. The figures given in the recent annual strategy and budget report of the department of transport indicate a substantial increase over the previous year.”

It was also pointed out that there were discrepancies between the figures released by the department of transport on annual figures generally and studies done by the National Institute of Mortality Studies and the Medical Research Council both in 2012.

Reasons requested

The motion went on to say that the minister “should report on the reason for the increase in road deaths; the estimation of the correct figures; the successes and challenges of current road safety campaigns and what was being done to address South Africa’s poor ranking by World Health Organization (WHO) on the subject.”

Other members of the committee asked whether the high rate of road mortality and thus South Africa’s poor ranking, was the result of road infrastructure collapse, the recklessness of drivers, or a combination of this and other issues.

Chairperson Bhengu said that a specific answer had to come from the minister on these issues and she wanted to know from the department of transport as well on the question of transport of schoolchildren. She was aware that in some instances children “were crammed onto bakkies” and this was lethal, she added.

A reply is expected from the minister shortly.

Associated articles archived
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//finance-economic/all-not-well-in-the-trucking-industry-2/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//public-utilities/aarto-amendment-bill-gives-back-up-to-road-law/

Posted in Public utilities, Trade & Industry, Transport0 Comments

Transport to get one transport regulator

Transport legislation to be revised.

In a written reply to a parliamentary question on the subject, the minister of transport, Ben Martins, says that his department of transport is considering setting up a single transport regulator to consider all matters relating to tariffs; the protection of the public as far as transport matters are concerned and to consider the revision of a number of regulations.

He emphasised that lessons learnt from the energy and communications sectors showed that regulators should be incorporated into the transport process itself and the “the new model might entail merging several economic regulators currently operating in the transport industry into one”.

According to the minister, he will now have an investigation commenced which will look at regulation of tariffs across the transport sector; regulations regarding quality of service  and matters regarding the protection of the public interest.

“Predictable tariff structures had to be put in place”, he said.

Minister Martins reply included the fact that necessary regulatory and legislative framework would be in place by 2014 to allow for the setting up of a single transport regulator, who would then be responsible for all transport infrastructure pricing including roads, aviation, rail and maritime matters.

The proposed regulator would be created via legislation and a position paper was to be drawn up by the end of the first quarter next year and draft legislation to follow.

He concluded that the idea was also to provide a better climate for investors.

Posted in Finance, economic, Public utilities, Security,police,defence, Trade & Industry, Transport0 Comments

Cabinet decides that e-tolling will proceed

In a cabinet statement this week cabinet made it clear by  approving the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill for tabling in Parliament that the e-tolling development generally and particularly on the project known as the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP), was going ahead.

The heart of the matter remains the electronic toll collection system and the new Bill will give the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) the full enforcement powers it needs to ensure payment of tolls.     Between the new Bill, SANRALS’s own founding legislation and National Roads Act, all put together, allowed Ben Martins, minister of transport to consider that SANRAL will eventually be in  sufficient compliance to both enforce and administer e-tolling.

In a meeting a few weeks ago, the Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) and the newly formed Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP), OUTA all agreed that the national fuel levy continue to be used to fund freeway improvements since this was the established and fair procedure for road development.

The OUTA delegation included the South African Vehicle Rental and Lease Association, the Automobile Association, the South African National Consumer Union, Investment Solutions and the Retail Motor Industry, led by Wayne Duvenage.

Nobody disagreed on the need for users to pay for road improvements; the need to decongest the country’s roads; and the need for more efficient public transport but focus again fell on the method of funding use, i.e cameras on e-toll gantries whether e-tolling as a procedure would solve congestion.

OUTA welcomed the GFIP it said at the time and commended the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) was a well-managed road building entity but argued that e-tolling was not efficient or effective as a funding mechanism in itself. Where OUTA disagreed was that the existing national fuel levy be used to fund freeway improvements in view of the current use of the levy to build and maintain roads countrywide.

Government has always stressed the need that whatever happens, users had to pay and and it appears that the ministry was far too far down the e-tolling contractual development of building to wish to alter its course, aside from any policy decisions on the matter.

Posted in Cabinet,Presidential, Finance, economic, Fuel,oil,renewables, Public utilities, Trade & Industry, Transport, Uncategorized0 Comments


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