An Energy Security Policy for an Inclusive and Prosperous South Africa

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Esteemed guests,

And most importantly, delegates to the inaugural ActionSA Policy Conference.

It is my privilege today to table the draft energy policy, not only as the Chairperson of the ActionSA Policy Panel on Energy Security, but in my role of Chief Strategist and the custodian of the policy process.

In this respect, I must acknowledge the exceptional work displayed by our Director of Policy, Mr Johann Krige, who has worked tirelessly to ensure that we have policies grounded in best practice, extensive research and expert engagement.

But, I digress.

Energy is the life blood of our economy, and the force that should drive us toward progress.

But, as we know all too well, we find ourselves in the dark.

This issue is not just about the politics of blame; it’s about the very fabric of our society, our economy, and our future. It’s about energy security, which is critical for inclusive socio-economic development. Energy powers our homes, fuels our industries, and drives our economy.

The energy crisis we face has crippled our nation for far too long.

Today, we say, “Enough is enough!”

It’s time for a of political will and action. ActionSA is committed to tackling this crisis head-on, with the courage to make tough decisions and the vision to see them through. Our Energy Security Policy is not just a document; it’s a testament to our resolve to turn the tide, to secure our energy future, and to propel South Africa into a new age of prosperity and inclusive growth.

We are not blind to the immediate challenges that face us. While long-term strategies are essential, we understand that people are suffering now.

Businesses are closing, families are struggling, and our national productivity is at an all-time low due to the energy crisis. That’s why our Energy Security Policy has concrete, actionable steps to resolve the energy crisis in the short term.

Firstly, we aim to act decisively against non-paying customers and enter into emergency supply contracts with external parties.

These contracts will be subject to rigorous financial and environmental feasibility studies, but streamlined to avoid unreasonable delays. We are committed to balancing short-term priorities with long-term sustainability.

Secondly, we will increase financial incentives to the private sector and households to reduce their reliance on the national grid. Imagine a South Africa where you are rewarded for being energy-efficient, where using less power puts more money back into your pocket.

Lastly, we will implement demand response programs, establishing a fair program of peak-time pricing and direct load control to manage demand during peak time. This is not just smart economics; it’s smart governance.

These short-term interventions are not just plans on paper; they are commitments to you, the people of South Africa. We are ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work, to bring immediate relief to our energy-strapped nation. Stay tuned for the final part of the speech, where we will discuss our long-term vision for South Africa’s energy future

As we look beyond the immediate crisis, it’s crucial to lay the groundwork for a sustainable energy future. Our policy is built on two main pillars: Energy Supply and Energy Demand.

Energy Supply

Our vision for energy supply is both ambitious and pragmatic. We aim to diversify our energy sources, ensuring that Independent Power Producers (IPPs) can feed their electricity into the grid. We will also secure additional supply contracts from IPPs and neighbouring countries to meet peaks in energy demand.

But we’re not stopping there. We will invest in state-of-the-art energy storage, including battery capacity and plants that can generate power from natural gas and stored green hydrogen. This ensures that when you flip that switch, the lights will come on, every single time.

Energy Demand

On the demand side, we recognize that a growing economy naturally demands more energy.

But instead of seeing this as a burden, we see it as an opportunity—an opportunity to innovate and improve energy efficiency.

We will require regular energy audits of large energy users and submission of energy plans for efficiency improvements. We will also invest in providing low-income houses with universal access to rooftop solar panels and solar-powered geysers.

This is not just about reducing demand; it’s about empowering you, the consumer, to take control of your energy needs.

As we navigate the complexities of energy security, it’s crucial to understand that this is not merely a technical challenge. Energy security exists within an operational environment—an ecosystem that includes political considerations, infrastructure, and even social dynamics.

First and foremost, we recognize the urgent need to create a conducive operational environment. This starts with the effective functioning of Eskom.

For too long, this vital institution has been plagued by mismanagement and corruption. Under ActionSA, Eskom will undergo a transformation to become a symbol of efficiency and reliability. We will invest in infrastructure expansion and grid maintenance, ensuring that the backbone of our energy supply is robust and resilient.

But it’s not just about hardware; it’s also about software—the policies, regulations, and governance structures that guide our energy sector. We will tackle crime and corruption head-on, implementing stringent measures to ensure transparency and accountability. This is not just about cleaning up the system; it’s about restoring faith in it.

Moreover, we understand that our energy operational environment is influenced by global trends and technologies. We will actively participate in international collaborations, sharing knowledge and adopting best practices to stay ahead of the curve. But, we will always ensure that the socio-economic needs of the south African, and the benefit we can derive from our natural resources, are our guiding light.


Creating a conducive energy operational environment is not a one-off task; it’s an ongoing commitment. It requires the alignment of multiple elements—technical, political, and social—to create an ecosystem where energy security can flourish.

As we stand on the cusp of a new era, we must not forget that the transition to renewable energy is not just a technological shift; it’s a societal one. Our transition to a more sustainable energy environment must not only consider our natural environment, but also our people and our economy.

We are committed to ensuring that this transition is inclusive, equitable, and beneficial for all South Africans. We understand that the shift towards renewable energy will have far-reaching implications for our workforce, especially those in fossil fuel-dependent sectors, notably the coal sector.

That’s why our policy outlines comprehensive retraining programs, offering new skill sets and employment opportunities in the burgeoning green economy, to ensure that those impacted by the transition are not left behind.

Finally, we will ensure that the transition is environmentally responsible. We will adopt and enforce stringent environmental standards, ensuring that our pursuit of energy security does not come at the cost of our planet. But, we will balance the need to safeguard our planet with the need to empower our people.

My fellow delegates,

The ActionSA’s draft Energy Security Policy is not just a policy; it’s a promise—a promise to you, to our children, and to the future generations of South Africa.

It’s a promise to build a nation that is not just energy secure but also socially just and environmentally sustainable.

A nation that can achieve ActionSA’s South Dream of an inclusive and prosperous future for all.

Let’s seize this moment, let’s seize this opportunity, and let’s build the South Africa we all deserve.

I thank you.