Sept 2012

Switch off and save; it’s the right thing to do


Switch off and save; it’s the right thing to do

Chris Bathembu

Spring is in the air and you can do with less electricity than you used during the cold winter days.

This is the message from Eskom and the Public Enterprise Department as they embark on a campaign to get 49 million South Africans to save electricity. The campaign, which aims to reduce electricity consumption by 10 per cent, got underway in Mamelodi township, east of Pretoria recently.

Eskom Board Chairperson Zola Tsotsi said South Africa could not afford to go back to the energy load-shedding that affected the country in 2008.

“The risk of load-shedding is very low, in fact I have said load-shedding is not in my vocabulary but if we don’t save energy as we should anything is possible and we don’t want to go there,” Tsotsi said.

He was speaking after a 49M electricity saving campaign roadshow in Mamelodi, east of Pretoria. The 49M campaign is conducted by Eskom and the Department of Public Enterprise.

Eskom is now using the 49 M campaign to shift the focus to consumers, particularly households.

The 49 M campaign seeks to encourage 49 million South Africans to save electricity and officials are using celebrities in visits to all of the country’s nine provinces to drive the message home.

South Africans are encouraged to start thinking about their power consumption and reminding one another to ‘remember their power’.

Public Enterprise Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe told a large crowd of Mamelodi residents that by saving electricity they were not doing government a favour.

“In fact by saving you are helping yourselves because it means more money in your pocket,” Magwanishe said. He warned that rising electricity costs were leading to job losses and increases poverty. Electricity wastage was also putting severe pressure on the national grid.

“We don’t want to go to a situation that we saw in 2008 so let us save as much as we can,” he said in reference to the rolling black outs of that year.


Deadly illegal connections

The Deputy Minister also called for a renewed fight against illegal connections which are notorious in townships like Mamelodi.

Authorities say illegal connections cost the country R4,4 billion per annum.

“It’s a very serious problem because it also involves loss of life…also these illegal connections are stealing from communities and the South African society as a whole, so it’s a very serious matter,”

In the meantime, play your part and keep your electricity usage to a minimum.


For more information, call the Department of Public Enterprises: 012 431 1000

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