“Ninety-five percent of our energy requirement is still very much fossil fuel-based,” Dorah Nteo, the chief sustainability specialist for the municipality, said this week. “We have not allowed the infiltration of enough renewable” power sources, she said.
A proposed carbon tax would be delayed from this year to 2016 to allow time for public consultation and the drafting of legislation, former finance minister Pravin Gordhan said in 2014. Draft legislation on the levy will be published later this year, his successor, Nhlanhla Nene, said in his budget.
Eskom is struggling to meet demand with aging plants following years of underinvestment. While the department of energy has approved 79 renewable power projects from private companies with a capacity of 5 243MW, Eskom is also building two coal-fired power plants with a potential combined output of 9 564MW.
“A carbon tax can play a role in achieving the transition to a low carbon economy and South Africa’s commitment to help in the international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” the committee said in April.
“These commitments and aspirations should also take into account any possible negative economic and social impacts of the carbon tax.
“What has been introduced effectively is the fuel levy for your motor vehicles, rather than your broader carbon tax,” Nteo said. “That is because with cars you have a choice between big cars or small ones, there are alternatives.”